Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania’s bear season ends tomorrow, and we’re starting to get reports on some of the largest bears this year. 659 bears were harvested in just the first day of the statewide season, which runs from Nov. 18 until Nov. 22. The largest bear this year weighed 700 pounds and was taken on the first day of the season in Venango County. Another large bear came out of St. Marys and weighed 595 pounds.

Bears have been harvested in 49 counties during the statewide season so far.

The top 10 bears processed at check stations by Monday were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 535 pounds or more.

The largest of those bears – a male estimated at 700 pounds – was taken in Oil Creek Township, Venango County, by Chad A. Wagner, of Titusville, Pa. He took it with a rifle at about 8 a.m. on Nov. 18, the season’s opening day.

Other large bears taken in the season’s opening day – all taken with a rifle – include: a 648-pound male taken in Dreher Township, Wayne County, by Joseph D. Simon, of Newfoundland, Pa.; a 609-pound male taken in Abbott Township, Potter County, by Michael R. Neimeyer, of Spring City, Pa.; a 595-pound male taken in St. Marys Township, Elk County, by Stephanie A. Siford, of North East, Pa.; a 595-pound male taken in Charleston Township, Tioga County, by Zachery L. Martin, of Wellsboro, Pa.; a 586-pound male taken in Oil Creek Township, Crawford County, by Brian K. Baker, Titusville, Pa.; a 576-pound male taken in Homer Township, Potter County, by Kirby R. Kornhaus, of Jonestown, Pa.; a 561-pound male taken in Ross Township, Luzerne County, by Richard B. Kollar, of Shickshinny, Pa.; a 536-pound male taken in Dean Township, Cambria County, by Matthew J. Lidwell, of Dysart, Pa.; and a 535-pound male taken in Blooming Grove Township, Pike County, by Bradley S. Delikat, of Telford, Pa.

The 2017 first-day preliminary harvest is a decrease compared to 1,297 bears taken during the 2016 opener. Hunters in 2015 harvested 1,508 bears on the opening day.

The overall 2016 bear harvest was 3,529, the fifth largest in state history. In 2015, hunters took a total of 3,745 bears – the fifth-largest harvest all time. The largest harvest – 4,350 bears – happened in 2011, when preliminary first-day totals numbered 1,936.

Other previous first-day statewide bear harvest totals were 1,623 in 2014; 1,320 in 2013; 1,751 in 2010; 1,897 in 2009; 1,725 in 2008; 1,005 in 2007; 1,461 in 2007; and 1,461 in 2006.

The preliminary first-day bear harvest by Wildlife Management Unit was as follows: WMU 1A, 1 (9 in 2016); WMU 1B, 11 (24); WMU 2C, 18 (90); WMU 2D, 32 (37); WMU 2E, 5 (27); WMU 2F, 65 (145); WMU 2G, 129 (303); WMU 2H, 31 (45); WMU 3A, 43 (7); WMU 3B, 74 (95); WMU 3C, 44 (39); WMU 3D, 101 (105); WMU 4A, 29 (83); WMU 4B, 14 (51); WMU 4C, 20 (44); WMU 4D, 26 (102); WMU 4E, 14 (25); and WMU 5A, 2 (1).

The top bear-hunting county in the state on the first day of the season was Tioga County, with 58. It was followed by Pike County with 55.

Opening-day harvests by county and region are:

Northwest (90): Warren, 22 (41); Clarion, 17 (19); Venango, 16 (35); Jefferson, 14 (29); Forest, 12 (38); Crawford, 7 (8); Butler, 2 (5);.

Southwest (23): Somerset, 8 (40); Fayette, 6 (21); Armstrong, 4 (6); Cambria, 4 (10); and Indiana, 1 (10).

Northcentral (263): Tioga, 58 (76); Lycoming, 47 (106); Clinton, 41 (97); Potter, 31 (65); Elk, 28 (43); Cameron, 20 (43); McKean, 16 (39); Clearfield, 12 (46); Centre, 5 (34); and Union, 5 (9).

Southcentral (57): Huntingdon, 16 (37); Bedford, 12 (42); Fulton, 9 (25); Mifflin, 5 (14); Franklin, 4 (10); Juniata, 3 (22); Perry, 3 (17); Adams, 2 (0); Cumberland, 2 (3); and Blair, 1 (15).

Northeast (211): Pike, 55 (34); Wayne, 32 (27); Sullivan, 24 (19); Monroe, 18 (27); Luzerne, 15 (37); Wyoming, 15 (8); Lackawanna, 14 (16); Susquehanna, 13 (20); Bradford, 10 (28); Carbon, 9 (12); Columbia, 4 (12); Montour, 1 (0); and Northumberland, 1 (1).

Southeast (15): Dauphin, 9 (16); Berks, 3 (1); Schuylkill, 2 (12); and Northampton, 1 (1).


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