Pennsylvania Bear Season Just Days Away

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With bear seasons just around the corner, Pennsylvania Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Protection Director Richard Palmer is reminding all hunters that they must have a bear license to participate in these seasons. He noted that Combination licenses do not include bear hunting privileges.

"In 1999, the General Assembly created the resident senior combination license and resident and nonresident junior combination license," Palmer said. "These new license classifications include all of the privileges granted to general hunting and furtaker license holders, as well as archery and muzzleloader stamp holders.

"However, combination licenses do not include bear license privileges, migratory game bird license privileges or antlerless deer licenses privileges - all of which must be purchased separately. Also, some hunters who purchase a regular general hunting license may not realize that they also need to purchase a bear license in order to participate in bear seasons."

Palmer noted that, over the past few years, agency employees at bear check stations have encountered several successful hunters who didn't know they needed to purchase a bear license to hunt bears.

"To avoid ruining the excitement of a successful bear hunt, we urge all hunters planning to participate in our bear seasons to make sure that they purchase their bear license before heading afield," Palmer said.

Bear licenses may be purchased at any issuing agent, including on the agency's website - www.pgc.state.pa.us - via "The Outdoor Shop," prior to the opening day of the regular deer firearms season, Nov. 26. If purchased through "The Outdoor Shop," license buyers will be provided a web order number that they will be instructed to write on their general hunting license in the appropriate box and sign; there will be no need to wait for anything to be sent in the mail.

Pennsylvania's principal bear season is a three-day sprint - Nov. 19-21, the three days preceding Thanksgiving - that draws about 100,000 hunters annually. Pennsylvania also holds a bear archery season - Nov. 14 and 15 - in Wildlife Management Units 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 4A, 4B and 4D. An extended bear season also will be held in WMU 3C, portions of 3B, 4E, and 2G, from Nov. 26 to Dec. 1. In WMU 3D, an extended season will run Nov. 28 to Dec. 1.

In related news, the Department of Corrections has cancelled a bear hunting opportunity for those hunters who previously received permission to hunt at the State Correctional Institution at Rockview, in Centre County, from Nov. 26-Dec. 1.