Bears basking in 'burbs befuddle hunters
It's not a big surprise that the harvest from the first three days of this year's bear season was lower than the record figure posted in 2011.
After all, a record is tough to top.
But here in the northeast, there are a couple of other potential reasons why the harvest after three days was significantly less than in 2011 (almost 700 fewer bears statewide).
When the season opened on Saturday, it was noisy. Several days of dry weather along with a sunny Saturday afternoon made it impossible to walk in the woods without making a racket. For any hunter who tried still-hunting, doing it silently was a challenge. And for those groups conducting organized drives, the crunchy leaves likely alerted bears as to what was coming long before hunters were ready.
The best thing one could do on opening day was simply sit, wait and remain quiet.
Another potential reason for the drop this year, especially in the northeast, centers around where the bears are found. There's plenty of them in this area, but quite a few choose to stay in suburban/urban areas where there's plenty to eat and the living is good.
These are also places that are tough to access for a hunter, especially one using a high-powered rifle, who has to be mindful of safety zones.
Sure, there were plenty of bears taken in remote places such as State Game Land 57 and the vast acreages in Bradford and Sullivan counties.
But there are many more bears that sat out the season in the 'burbs, enjoying the nice weather without a worry in the world.