With the holiday season approaching, it's a good time to remind ourselves that we don't always get what we wish for. One New York hunter just learned that lesson the hard way.

A man in Allegany County recently had to contact authorities after he checked one of his traps in Cuba, NY. While he was trying to nab a coyote, the surprised hunter accidentally caught something much, much bigger.

New York DEC officers were called to help rescue a bear that was caught in a coyote trap
NYS DEC via Facebook

Unexpected Predator Caught in Trap in New York

While hunters will begin to use firearms for hunting in New York on November 18th, it comes as a surprise to many local residents that there is a trapping season in New York as well. Depending on the animal and location, trapping season ranges anywhere from October to December, but the large animal that stepped in this hunter's snare was not on the approved harvest list.

New York DEC officers used team work and a special plywood board to help rescue a trapped black bear in New York
NYS DEC via Facebook

New York DEC Rescues Bear from Trap

"On November 4th, 2023 Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Powers received a phone call from Central Dispatch explaining that a bear had accidentally got himself caught in one of the [coyote] foot hold traps", said a recent post from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC). The video (below) shows how officers responded to the high-stakes situation.

Using Plywood to Free Trapped Bear

The responding officers needed to find a way to protect themselves while simultaneously freeing the trapped bear. In a pinch, it turns out that plywood can make a decent bear shield! From the NYS DEC:

ECO Bobseine wisely brought a large piece of plywood. He then used a saw to cut an opening in the bottom of the plywood to be placed around the trapped bear paw. ECO’s Bobseine and Jason Powers then held the plywood against the bear while ECO Jamie Powers released the paw from the trap.

The thrilling operation was just another day in the life of the ever-busy ECOs in New York State. From wild animals to domestic pets and trapped hikers, there's no such thing as a "normal" mission. Check out some more impressive animal and human rescues below.

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