If you have been itching to get out and hunt bear, the wait is almost over.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that black bear hunting season will open early this year in parts of Ulster, Sullivan and Greene Counties.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said via a press release that, "Early black bear hunting seasons are an important tool for managers to control and maintain healthy bear populations, bears are feeding heavily this time of year, gorging on wild nuts and berries and corn in the field if they can find it. Hunters can increase the odds of finding a bear by keying in on concentrated natural food sources."

The early bear season in Southeast New York will run this year from Sept. 10 through Sept. 25.

During the early season, eligible bear hunters may use a bow, crossbow, muzzleloader, handgun, shotgun, or rifle where allowed.

The early bowhunting season for bears will open in the entire Southern Zone on October 1st, followed by the regular firearms season beginning November 19th.

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