Pennsylvania Releases Bear Age Data for 2009 Hunters

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Hunters interested in learning the age of the bear they harvested during the 2009 seasons can log onto the Pennsylvania Game Commission's website www.pgc.state.pa.us. To access the database, click on "Hunt/Trap" in the menu bar at the top of the page, click on "Hunting," scroll down and click on "Black Bear" in the "Big Game" listing, and then scroll down and click on "Black Bear Age Data" in the "Reference" listing.

"As a cost-cutting measure, the Game Commission no longer mails a certificate and letter to successful bear hunters notifying them of their bear's age," said Carl G. Roe, agency executive director. "To maintain this valued customer service, however, we provide hunters with a certificate at the check station when their bear is processed, and information about how and when they can find the age data, which is determined by examining a tooth from the bear that is extracted as part of the check station processing, on our website."

Ages are available only for bears from which a tooth was pulled.  To access the data and learn the age of their bear, a hunter will need to have their legal seal number from the check station certificate. If the hunter no longer has the seal number, age data also is provided in charts broken down by county of harvest.

In 2009, of the nearly 148,000 licensed bear hunters, 3,512 bears were harvested and taken to check stations, which is the second highest harvest recorded in Pennsylvania. The record bear harvest of 4,164 was set in 2005.

Instructions on the back of the certificates distributed at check stations to access this data on the agency's website presently is incorrect. The certificates issued in 2009 were printed and distributed prior to the agency's transition to a new website format, which has significantly changed the navigation features of the new website.