Red-winged blackbirds and killdeer (along with the phoebes that nest in our yard) are some of the surer signs of spring. (Robins not so much.)
Another sign that spring is upon us is the annual bear-hunting report from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The agency recaps the previous year’s bear hunt, which basically takes place from the fall into early winter across New York.
Hunters took 1,715 black bears last year, a harvest second only to 2003, the DEC said. Most bears were taken from the “Southern Zone,” the swath of the state that spreads south from Lake Ontario to Pennsylvania and New Jersey and stretches from Ohio to New England.
The heaviest “dressed bear” (dressed means the animals innards and other stuff have been removed) reported to the DEC weighed 520 pounds.
You can read the state’s 2015 “Black Bear harvest Summary” here