Bear harvest sets record
HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that the final bear harvest results from the state’s three recently concluded seasons show that hunters harvested 4,350 bears, which sets a new record as the highest in Pennsylvania history.
On Dec. 5, preliminary harvest of 3,968 was announced, but that figure did not include complete reports from all check stations.
“Preliminary harvest reports are just that; preliminary,” said Cal DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director. “Rounding up and sifting through 28 boxes of returning check station supplies takes time. The process involves physically connecting the 50 hand-held electronic devices to a computer, one device at a time, and manually reviewing each report and comparing it with the database to see if there are any discrepancies with the printed reports and envelopes with bear teeth extracted at the site.”
The final harvest tallies by season is: 304 bears taken during the statewide, five-day archery bear season; 3,168 bears taken during the four-day bear season, which included a Saturday-opener; and 878 bears taken during the extended bear season held in various Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) during all or portions of the first week of the deer season.
In the 2005 bear season, hunters harvested 4,164 bears, and stood as the record harvest until 2011. The harvest record was set in a three-day statewide season and a six-day extended bear season in five WMUs.
Other recent bear harvests include: 3,090 in 2010; 3,512 in 2009; 3,458 in 2008; 2,362 in 2007; 3,124 in 2006; 2,976 in 2004; 3,000 in 2003; 2,686 in 2002; 3,063 in 2001; 3,075 in 2000; 1,740 in 1999; and 2,598 in 1998.
Bears were harvested in 54 of the state’s 67 counties. The top five bear harvest counties this year, once again, all come from the Northcentral Region
Northeast Region: Wayne, 208 (93); Sullivan, 180 (57); Bradford, 126 (38); Pike, 116 (134); Luzerne, 99 (58); Susquehanna, 92 (41); Monroe, 88 (69); Wyoming, 57 (22); Carbon, 45 (35); Columbia, 26 (20); Lackawanna, 25 (19); and Northumberland, 11 (3).
Joseph Colyer, of Pocono Lake, harvested the largest bear, a male that weighed 767 pounds (estimated live weight). The bear was taken in Tobyhanna, Monroe County, at 6:50 a.m. on Nov. 16, with a crossbow during the archery bear season.
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