Pennsylvania Bear Season Off to Slow Start

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Two days of bear hunting have produced a preliminary harvest of 1,638 bears, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission reports.

In 2006, 2,185 bears passed through check stations the first two days. In 2005, when the state record bear harvest was set, agency personnel processed 2,875 bears on the first two days of season; 2,262 in 2004; 2,299 in 2003; and 2,022 in 2002.

These harvest numbers do not include the results of the state's archery bear hunt, which was held in certain Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) on Nov. 14 and 15. Those results will be available on Nov. 28.

"The statewide two-day bear harvest continues to be slow, but large bears are being taken and favorable hunting weather remains in the forecast for the last day of season," said Mark Ternent, Game Commission bear biologist.

Beginning today, Monday, Nov. 26, through Saturday, Dec. 1, deer hunters who possess a valid bear license may participate in the extended bear season in WMU 3C, portions of 3B, 4E, and 2G. In WMU 3D, an extended bear season will run from Wednesday, Nov. 28, to Saturday, Dec. 1. For more information on those areas opened during the extended bear season, refer to pages 39-41 of the 2007-08 Hunting & Trapping Digest, which is provided to each license buyer.

Bear licenses must have been purchased at any issuing agent prior to the opening day of the regular deer firearms season, Nov. 26, including through "The Outdoor Shop" on the agency's website www.pgc.state.pa.us. If purchased through "The Outdoor Shop," license buyers were provided a web order number that they were 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.

So far, the top 10 bears processed at check stations through Tuesday all had estimated live weights that exceeded 500 pounds. Rodney Howard, of Port Allegany, harvested the largest bear, which was a male that weighed in at 712-pound (estimated live weight). The bear was taken in Roulette Township, Potter County, at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 19.

Other large bears included: a 628-pound male taken by Robert Heckman, of Quakake, in Rush Township, Schuylkill County, at 8 a.m. on Nov. 20; a 617-pound male taken by Thomas Oliver, of Palmyra, in Elk Township, Tioga County, at 10:15 a.m. on Nov. 19; a 604-pound male taken by Terrance T. Brent, of Conneaut, Ohio, in Lumber Township, Cameron County at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 20; a 604-pound male taken by Daniel Buric, of Hunker, in Derry Township, Westmoreland County, at 3 p.m. Nov. 19; a 590-pound male taken by Lavon Martin, of Fleetwood, in Toboyne Township, Perry County, at 10:44 a.m. on Nov. 19; and a 587-pound male taken by Randall Lockwood, of Brookville, in Warsaw Township, Jefferson County, at 11 a.m. on Nov. 19.

Need more info? Visit: www.pgc.state.pa.us