Hunters, Highways & Bears in Catskills Forest
03/15/2010 - 12:16
James Besser

With the warmer weather, and the coming of Passover, thoughts turn to the Catskills, where dozens of hotels were once open for the holiday, and the beginning of “the season.”

How many bears do you think there are, walking around in the Catskills woods?

We know less about how many bears are walking around and more about how many aren’t, which gives an interesting census snaphot in any case. According to the Times Herald-Record and the state Department of Environmental Conservation, hunters killed 1,487 bears in New York last year; 71 in Orange County (up from 70 in 2008), and 106 in Sullivan County (up from 98).

Thinking of hunters and highways reminds me of the song “Teddy Bear,” by Red Sovine, about another kind of bear. For all who’ll be going away, driving 18-wheelers up Route 17, “here’s a little prayer for you, 10-4 and goodbye.

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