Pennsylvania Bear Season Ninth Overall

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With an additional 291 bears taken during the extended bear season, Pennsylvania Game Commission preliminary harvest reports accounted for 2,356 bears, which moves this year's harvest into ninth place in state bear harvests. Updated preliminary results also now show that the second-ever, two-day archery bear season resulted in a harvest of 41, and the statewide three-day season resulted in a harvest of 2,024.

Official total bear harvest figures for all three seasons won't be available until early 2008, after a detailed review of the each harvest report is completed.

"While this year's bear kill is down from the 2005 and 2006 seasons, hunters still registered an impressive harvest," said Mark Ternent, Game Commission bear biologist. "This year's harvest falls in line with the harvests of 1998 through 2004."

In 2005, hunters set a record harvest of 4,164, and followed with 3,122 in 2006. Ternent noted that the combination of record license sales, high bear population estimates, abundant fall foods and favorable weather conditions aided in reaching these marks. Other recent bear harvests include: 2,598 in 1998; 1,740 in 1999; 3,075 in 2000; 3,063 in 2001; 2,686 in 2002; 3,000 in 2003; and 2,972 in 2004.

This fall, 10 hunters harvested bears in excess of 600 pounds, with two reaching the 700-pound class. Scott Spaeth, of Philadelphia, harvested the largest bear, a male weighing in at 727-pounds (estimated live weight). The bear was taken in Dingman Township, Pike County, at 3:45 p.m. on Nov. 28. Also, Rodney Howard, of Port Allegany, harvested a 712-pound (estimated live weight) male bear in Roulette Township, Potter County, at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 19.

Other large bears included: a 676-pound male taken by Albert Smith, of Nazareth, in Greene Township, Pike County, at 3 p.m. on Nov. 20; a 628-pound male taken by Robert Heckman, of Quakake, in Rush Township, Schuylkill County, at 8 a.m. on Nov. 20; a 620-pound male taken by Jeffrey Freeman, of Bangor, in Stoud Township, Monroe County, at 7:15 a.m. on Dec. 1; a 617-pound male taken by Thomas Oliver, of Palmyra, in Elk Township, Tioga County, at 10:15 a.m. on Nov. 19; a 613-pound male taken by William Siddle, of Montoursville, in Loyalsock Township, Lycoming County, at 12:16 p.m. on Nov. 28; a 610-pound male taken by Craig Zaman, of Hollsopple, in Conemaugh Township, Somerset County, at 1 p.m. on Nov. 15; a 604-pound male taken by Terrance T. Brent, of Conneaut, Ohio, in Lumber Township, Cameron County at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 20; and a 604-pound male taken by Daniel Buric, of Hunker, in Derry Township, Westmoreland County, at 3 p.m. Nov. 19.

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