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Part 187: Miscellaneous Black Bear Regulations

(Statutory authority: Environmental Conservation Law, §§3-0301(2)(m), 11-0521, 11-0903(8), 11-0923 and 11-0928)

[Last Amended: January 12, 2011]

Contents:

Sec.

§187.1 Black bear feeding

(a) "Purpose." The purpose of this section is to protect public safety while conserving New York's black bear populations. The deliberate, intentional feeding of black bears is prohibited. The incidental, indirect feeding of black bears becomes unlawful once a written warning has been issued by the department.

(b) "Definitions."

(1) "Feeding" means using, placing, giving, exposing, depositing, distributing or scattering any material to attract one or more black bears to feed on such material.

(2) "Incidental or indirect feeding" means using, placing, giving, exposing, depositing, distributing or scattering any material for a different purpose but which attracts one or more black bears. This includes storage of garbage or refuse and use and storage of birdseed in a manner that is accessible to black bears.

(c) Prohibited activities. It is a violation for any person to:

(1) Feed black bears, except as authorized by section 187.2 of this Part;

(2) Incidentally or indirectly feed black bears after the department has issued a written notice to the person or persons directly responsible for the incidental or indirect feeding of a black bear.

§187.2 Training of dogs on black bears

(a) "Purpose." The purpose of this section is to allow the use of certified black bear tracking dogs by persons possessing a black bear tracking dog license issued by the department.

(b) "Definitions."

(1) "Certified black bear tracking dog" means a dog that is used to track, trail, pursue and tree black bears pursuant to a black bear tracking dog license, issued as provided by this section; that is licensed, collared, identified and vaccinated against rabies in accordance with the Agriculture and Markets Law; and that is one of the following breeds or a cross among these breeds: Airedale, American Black and Tan Coonhound, Bluetick Coonhound, Majestic Tree Hound, Mountain Cur, Leopard Cur, English Coonhound, Plott Hound, Redbone Coonhound, Treeing Walker, Black Mouth Yellow Cur, and Karelian Bear Dog.

(2) "License" means a black bear tracking dog license issued pursuant to this section, authorizing the use of certified black bear tracking dogs as specified in this section and subdivision 6 of section 11-0923 of the Environmental Conservation Law.

(3) "Licensee" means a person who is the holder of a black bear tracking dog license.

(4) "Agent" means any person authorized by the licensee to place baits to attract a black bear, who is listed on the licensee's agent list, and who possesses a copy of the license.

(5) "Relaying" means the act of replacing dogs or a pack of dogs during a chase or pursuit of a black bear.

(6) "Reversible attractants" means conditions that attract black bears where the conditions can be removed, made unattractive, or inaccessible to black bears.

(c) Black bear tracking dog license.

(1) Qualifications. An applicant for a license must:

(i) Possess a current license authorizing the applicant to hunt black bear in New York; and

(ii) Not have been convicted of, pled guilty to, or settled by civil settlement or otherwise for, the illegal taking of a black bear or the illegal sale of black bear parts within the last five years.

(2) Issuance. Applicants who meet the qualifications for a license must submit a completed, signed application and:

(i) a $25 fee for a license valid for one year; or

(ii) a $100 fee for a license valid for five years.

(3) Entitlements.

(i) A black bear tracking dog license issued by the department entitles the licensee to train and use certified black bear tracking dogs to track, trail, pursue and tree black bears, including the placement of bait to attract bears, from July 1 until nine days before the opening of any bear hunting season in the Zone (Northern or Southern Zone) where certified black bear tracking dogs are being used. The licensee must also possess a current license authorizing him or her to hunt black bear in New York. A licensee may also assist with controlling damage caused by black bears as provided in subdivision (e) of this section.

(ii) Residents of any age and non-residents under the age of 18, who have not been issued a black bear tracking dog license and have not been convicted of, pled guilty to, or settled by civil settlement or otherwise for, the illegal taking of a black bear or the illegal sale of black bear parts within the last five years may accompany a licensee during the training and use of certified black bear tracking dogs to track, trail, pursue and tree black bears. They may also act as an agent of the licensee to place baits pursuant to subdivision (d) of this section.

(iii) Non-residents 18 years old and older who have not been issued a black bear tracking dog license, but do possess a current New York license authorizing black bear hunting, and have not been convicted of, pled guilty to, or settled by civil settlement or otherwise for, the illegal taking of a black bear or the illegal sale of black bear parts within the last five years, may accompany a licensee during the training and use of certified black bear tracking dogs to track, trail, pursue and tree black bears. They may also act as an agent of the licensee to place baits pursuant to subdivision (d) of this section.

(4) Conditions.

(i) No person may capture, take, kill or attempt to kill a black bear with the aid of a dog except by permit issued pursuant to subdivision 1 of Section 11-0521 of the Environmental Conservation Law.

(ii) No person may possess a longbow, crossbow, pistol, rifle, shotgun or firearm of any kind while using dogs to track, trail, pursue or tree a black bear except under a permit issued pursuant to subdivision 1 of section 11-0521 of the Environmental Conservation Law.

(iii) Black bear tracking dog training hours will be from one half hour before sunrise to sunset.

(iv) Only certified black bear tracking dogs may be used to track, trail, pursue or tree black bears.

(v) At least two but no more than eight certified black bear tracking dogs must be used to track, trail, pursue or tree black bears, except an additional four certified black bear tracking dogs may be brought to the tree for purposes of training after the chase has ended and the black bear is treed.

(vi) No relaying of packs or dogs is allowed when tracking black bear.

(vii) Each black bear tracking dog must have a tag which includes the owner's name, address, and telephone number.

(viii) No more than 12 people may accompany a pack of dogs during the tracking, trailing, pursuit or treeing of black bears.

(ix) At least one person accompanying the pack must be a licensee.

(x) No licensee may release dogs after a black bear when the reported ambient air temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

(xi) Licensees will make every effort to end any black bear chase or to remove their dogs and leave a treed black bear whenever the reported ambient air temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit or when the black bear is panting.

(xii) Licensees must complete and return any survey, questionnaire, agent list or daily diary requested by the department.

(xiii) Licensees will maintain a list with names and addresses of agents who are authorized to place baits and provide all agents with a copy of their license.

(xiv) Licensees will maintain a map or list of GPS coordinates of all bait locations and show this map or coordinate list to any department official upon request;

(xv) Licensees will identify each bait site with their 12-digit Department of Environmental Conservation Automated Licensing System (DECALS) identification number or their name and address clearly legible on a metal tag, plastic tag, stake, or container for bait;

(xvi) The department may at any time amend license conditions establishing reporting requirements. Licensees will be notified in writing of any license condition amendments and the period of time during which they are in effect.

(xvii) Licensees and their agents will cease placing baits when notified by the department that such baits are creating a nuisance.

(d) "Deployment of bait used for black bear tracking dog training." It is a violation for any licensee or agent to:

(1) place any bait within 500 feet of any occupied building (unless the building is owned or leased and occupied by that person), school, playground, paved public road, trailhead, designated or established campsite, landfill, dump or municipal waste transfer site or dumpster;

(2) place any bait within 100 feet of any other building, any unpaved public road or trail, or body of water;

(3) place any bait or use any substance containing metal, glass, plastic, paper, cardboard or porcelain;

(4) place any bait during any time period other than the black bear tracking dog training season as defined in subdivision (c) of this section;

(5) act as an agent of the licensee unless the person:

(i) is listed on the licensee's agent list;

(ii) has agreed to the conditions and signed a copy of the license;

(iii) carries that copy of the license on their person when placing bait;

(iv) follows all other conditions of the license.

(6) fail to remove all baits by the close of the black bear tracking dog training season as defined in subdivision (c) of this section.

(e) "Deployment of black bear tracking dogs pursuant to a chase permit."

(1) In addition to training seasons established by this section, the department may also issue permits to chase nuisance black bears with trained, certified black bear tracking dogs when all of the following conditions are met:

(i) The department receives a complaint of damage to property or threat to public health or safety caused by one or more black bears;

(ii) The department examines the evidence of damage or threat and identifies any reversible attractants and all practical non-lethal control methods for the complainant;

(iii) The complainant has removed any reversible attractant and tried all practical non-lethal control methods, but the damage or threat continues;

(iv) The department determines that tracking dogs are essential to manage the nuisance black bear or bears.

(2) The department may issue a permit to destroy the nuisance black bear if there is a strong likelihood that the nuisance black bear can be identified. This destroy permit may, at the department's discretion, include the use of trained, certified black bear tracking dogs to tree the black bear for identification prior to destruction.

(3) After the above conditions are met, chase and destroy permits may be issued by the department at any time and any place.

(4) Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit the use of dogs by the department or by persons authorized by the department pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law section 11-0515 or 11-0521 to aid in the capture or taking of black bears for management or research purposes or damage abatement.