WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST?
I often use the analogy of “hunter generations” to show changes in habitat and forest regrowth. For instance, my grandfather didn’t hunt since back in his day most people were farmers and the land was completely cleared for pasture and crops in the Hudson Valley. My father used to hunt rabbits, since during his day, many of the farms were freshly abandoned and filling in with young growth. I’m a deer hunter, because in the 1990s/early 2000s there was a variety of mature timber, young growth and housing developments ripe for housing deer. And I joke that my kids might be bear hunters since the forest is now maturing (among housing developments) making for access to cover, tree nuts and berries, and garbage.
Last week while hunting nearby where I grew up, I saw equal parts deer to bear; About 5 deer and 5 bear. I’m not saying that will continue or that there are even more bear than deer, but they’re more than when I grew up. We never saw a one.
Director of Forest Services
Catskill Forest Association