ALBANY New York state is loosening restrictions on bear hunting to limit the animals' population growth.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced a new bear management plan this week that calls for a special early bear hunting season in September in areas of the Catskills and the western Hudson Valley region.
The new plan makes other slight changes to bear hunting rules, including bear hunting seasons in every county north of New York City.
The state says the rules are designed to increase hunting opportunities and manage bear populations. The plan also includes scientific monitoring of the number of black bears in New York state.