North Java man hunts massive bear in Letchworth State Park

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According to the DEC, bears are more commonly being found in semi-rural environments and even urban areas. 

Properly controlled hunting is important for wildlife management and avoiding human-bear conflicts. 

This is the first hunting season that Letchworth State Park has allowed bears to be hunted.

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation with a permit and license, New York State allows hunters to take one bear by gun each year.

The DEC stated, hunting black bear is a long and cherished tradition in New York State safely enjoyed by thousands, with an average of about 1,500 bear harvests each year.


Matt Sphar of North Java, hunted a massive bear down at Letchworth State Park on Monday.

Sphar had a permit and got the bear not far from the Mount Morris Dam.

Sphar, a veteran deer hunter, estimates the bear weighed 400 pounds. He tracked the bear to make sure no cubs were around.

According to Matt’s wife Becky, every ounce of the meat has been harvested, packaged and frozen to provide for families throughout the year. They say they are are using all the food from the animal.

“Every time you go and buy a burger at McDonald’s that’s comes from a cow somewhere they get raised for that purpose, to keep the populations at certain levels to where there isn’t problems, I think it’s good to go out and harvest your own meat and use it for the same purposes,” said Sphar. 

The park did allow hunting of bears this season according to park GM Roland Beck.

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