Depending on who you talk to, hunting animals is barbaric and inhumane, an extremely fun sport or an acceptable way to feed a family. In the past, hunting was more of a way of life for most people, but thanks to farming and access to ready to go meat, it's now a personal choice. As such, hunting has seen a decline in recent decades, but the number of hunted animals from one species in particular is actually on the rise.

According to , New York state saw a “harvest” of 1,358 black bears during the 2013 hunting season. Last year boasted the second highest number of bears killed since the the Department of Environmental Conservation started keeping track of such things. Some of these bears weighed more than 500 pounds each. Apparently New York's abundant natural food and vast land area make it a prime area for bears and those who wish to hunt them.

It seems that these high numbers of killed bears may not mean that more people are hunting bears, though. Instead, there may just be more bears being born, thriving and living long enough to be hunted. If you've ever been to New York, not the city, much of the land is forest and apparently, a great place to be for a bear. The record was not only set for the entire state, but several regions, as well. An abundance of hard mast, or nuts, kept bears active and eating well into the fall which probably made them a lot more likely to be around during hunting season.

So what does this mean for bears, those who hunt them and the state? Mostly it means that conservation and safety efforts in the state are working. Officials say that the bears are quite over populated in areas like the Catskills, so an increase in hunting can get the population much lower and more in control. This means that bears are less likely to get into human environments and cause damage or injury to humans and property or get themselves harmed. Humans have taken a lot of animal's habitats; so, it's natural that the two species would cross paths in some aspects. City life is no life for a bear, however.

Check out this video below of what happens when bears get into human spaces. It may not be the scariest thing and is even a little silly, but it does show what can happen when we cross paths with our furry friends. Though hunting can be pretty controversial ,it seems that New York hunters are using their sport responsibly and helping to keep dangerous situations from arising.



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