Preliminary Bear Harvest Moves to Second Place

HARRISBURG – With an additional 465 bears taken during the extended bear season that was open last week in certain parts of the state, Pennsylvania Game Commission preliminary harvest reports reached 3,099 bears, which moves this year’s harvest into the number two overall position in state bear harvests. Updated preliminary results also now show that the first-ever, two-day archery bear season resulted in a harvest of 74; the traditional, statewide three-day season resulted in a harvest of 2,560.

Official total bear harvest figures for all three seasons won’t be available until early 2007, after a detailed review of the harvest data is completed.

“While this year’s bear harvest appears to pale in comparison to the 2005 season, hunters still registered an impressive harvest,” said Mark Ternent, game commission bear biologist. “This year’s harvest falls in line with the harvests of 2000 through 2004.”

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

This year, 11 hunters harvested bears in excess of 600 pounds. In addition to the 10 previously announced, Thomas J. Smith of Laceyville, took a 637-pound male bear at 1 p.m. on Nov. 30, in Colley Township, Sullivan County.

The preliminary three-season bear harvest by Wildlife Management Unit was as follows: WMU 1A, 12; WMU 1B, 37; WMU 2C, 262; WMU 2D, 101; WMU 2E, 101; WMU 2F, 206; WMU 2G, 722; WMU 3A, 239; WMU 3B, 372; WMU 3C, 235; WMU 3D, 221; WMU 4A, 116; WMU 4B, 32; WMU 4C, 70; WMU 4D, 299; and WMU 4E, 74.

The top six bear harvest counties continue to hail from the Northcentral Region. The leading county was Clinton with 225, followed by Lycoming, 222; Potter, 188; Tioga, 149; Clearfield, 136; and McKean, 136.

County harvests by region for the three seasons are:

Northwest: Warren, 79; Forest, 46; Venango, 43; Clarion, 36; Jefferson, 28; Butler, 12; Crawford, 5; Erie, 2; and Mercer, 2.

Southwest: Somerset, 123; Fayette, 62; Indiana, 50; Armstrong, 31; Westmoreland, 22; and Cambria, 14.

Northcentral: Clinton, 225; Lycoming, 222; Potter 188; Tioga, 149; Clearfield, 136; McKean, 136; Centre, 103; Elk, 87; Cameron, 70; and Union, 43.

Southcentral: Huntingdon, 99; Bedford, 72; Mifflin, 44; Blair, 38; Fulton, 17; Snyder, 16; Juniata, 14; Perry, 8; Franklin, 4; and Cumberland, 1.

Northeast: Wayne, 132; Sullivan, 126; Bradford, 103; Luzerne, 90; Pike, 87; Susquehanna, 87; Wyoming, 53; Monroe, 49; Columbia, 38; Carbon, 27; Lackawanna, 29; and Northumberland, 5.

Southeast: Schuylkill, 15; Dauphin, 13; Lebanon, 8; Northampton, 6; and Berks, 4.

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