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Apr 14, 3:02 AM EDT

Expanded hunting season results in record number of bears killed in New York's Southern Zone


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- State officials say an expanded hunting season statewide and a special early bear season in parts of the Catskills and western Hudson Valley led to a record number of bears killed in New York's Southern Zone in 2014.

Statewide, hunters killed 1,628 black bears last year. That includes 1,110 in the Southern Zone, a 13 percent increase over the previous year and well above the previous record of 983 in 2011. The Southern Zone includes most of the state south of the Adirondacks.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation says changes in the hunting season were designed to limit bear population growth and reduce the population in southeastern New York.

Ulster County had the highest number of bears killed of any county at 192.

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