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Old 01-13-2014, 11:26 PM   #1
Gman
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Bears on Tug Hill

Anyone know about the bear population on Tug Hill? I hiked it for years fishing its trout streams. I saw many...many deer, turkeys, a few fox, no coyotes, 1 moose and the arse of a bear in a field.

There must be a few more bears there.

I wondered why I never saw coyotes but one trip in winter and seeing all the snowmobiles I knew. Snowmobiles scare the beejezus out of coyotes.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:52 AM   #2
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Anyone know about the bear population on Tug Hill? I hiked it for years fishing its trout streams. I saw many...many deer, turkeys, a few fox, no coyotes, 1 moose and the arse of a bear in a field.

There must be a few more bears there.

I wondered why I never saw coyotes but one trip in winter and seeing all the snowmobiles I knew. Snowmobiles scare the beejezus out of coyotes.
There hasn't been a resident bear population on Tug Hill since at least the 1940's. Rarely, very rarely, there is word of a lone bear that may have come in from the east, but as far as anyone knows currently no bears are living on "the hill".
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:02 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Wldrns View Post
There hasn't been a resident bear population on Tug Hill since at least the 1940's. Rarely, very rarely, there is word of a lone bear that may have come in from the east, but as far as anyone knows currently no bears are living on "the hill".
Interesting. Lack of quality food source ?
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:38 AM   #4
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Interesting. Lack of quality food source ?
During the early 1900's, there was a thriving human population of family farms on Tug Hill, a high percentage were first generation Eastern Europeans who came over by the boatload to work and escape what was happening in the homeland. They cleared the land and earned a mainly self-sufficient lifestyle. I remember my dad pointing out a cheese factory (to process milk that could not travel far in heavy winter snows) and a schoolhouse on nearly ever road intersection. The rotting foundations of many are still there, covered with brush and brambles.

I have seen many photos of hunters of the period, lots of deer and quite a few bears too. But the land was not economically viable, soil too poor, winters too harsh, snow too deep, growing season too short. The second generation could not support themselves on the old style farms and economies.

Most of that is all gone now, with the land reverting to wilderness. Interestingly, my dad says there were no beavers on Tug Hill at the time. They had all been trapped out. That has completely reversed now. Some of the most current topo maps have not been updated since 1943. The landscape on them is almost unrecognizable due to what beavers have done in recent decades. Certainly the food sources are different now. But it is wilderness criss crossed with hundreds of miles of ATV and snowmobile trails, with ceaseless noise of screaming engines and exhaust fumes 24 hours a day.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:48 AM   #5
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http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_...ralhistory.pdf
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:13 PM   #6
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That is interesting considering how close it is to a permanent population. I fished Tug Hill trout streams for 25 years but the bear I did see was while driving along the West Rd., we were going for dinner at Steak n' Brew in Turin. The moose I saw technically was not on Tug Hill, it was on the east side of the Black River. I was driving along River Rd. and I come upon about 20 cars with people looking out in the field and there was a big bull moose hanging out with the horses.
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:18 PM   #7
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Thanks for the link....according to this DEC document a permanent population of bears has recently expanded onto Tug Hill.
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:05 PM   #8
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Here's another link...http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/bb12summary.pdf

Check the figures titled "Black Bear Harvest Density 2012" on page 3 and "Black Bear Harvest 2012" on page 5. High numbers just east of Tug Hill.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:48 PM   #9
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That is Fort Drum and Indian Lakes area. That is north and east across the Black River from Tug Hill Plateau. If you ever drive across the Indian Lakes area you'd say this is pretty wild country. The Indian Lakes area are on the A2A corridor (Algonquin 2 Adirondack)
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:39 AM   #10
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Tug Hill Country Bears

Indeed, there are a few sporadic sightings of black bears across the Tug Hill. There is also enough visible evidence to indicate they are residents not just traveling through the region. Also there is a generous share of coyotes.
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:17 AM   #11
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Indeed, there are a few sporadic sightings of black bears across the Tug Hill. There is also enough visible evidence to indicate they are residents not just traveling through the region. Also there is a generous share of coyotes.
On the shoulder of Tug Hill, I hear coyotes in my back yard quite frequently. Lots of tracks visible when skiing the woods beyond. But no bear sign... yet.
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:22 PM   #12
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Yes there are bears on Tug Hill

A few years ago I purchased a small parcel of land in Montague, on the northern edge of Tug Hill's core forest. On my first trip to the property, as official owner, I encountered an apx 300lbs bruin (I took that as a good omen). I had great looks at it for about 30 seconds at about 50 yards, before it nonchalantly melted into some dense conifers. Over the following several months I often found bear scat. I also work with a guy who hunts out of a nearby hunting club, and they've kicked up a bear on drives each of the last 3 years. There may not be a large population but they're there, and from all of the trail cam images I have seen over the past few years I believe bears on the Hill are increasing.
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:18 PM   #13
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A lot of the bears in the Tug Hill area I was told are 2nd generation "problem" bears transplanted from the Adirondacks. We've seen females with cubs the last couple of years on the Mad River Club. I have found prints in the mud while four wheeling on club property. Supposedly now they are transplanting today's nuisance bears to the Happy Valley area. Many sightings (claw marks, scat & trail cams) over the last several years.

This one in this picture has been hanging around Lincklaen NY the last couple of years, it is less than 20 feet from the front porch of the hunting camp.
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