Sunday, January 29th, 2023
Sunday, January 29th, 2023

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Bear hunters register another large harvest

Harrisburg — Pennsylvania Game Commission bear check stations
recorded a preliminary harvest of 2,553 bears during the recently
completed three-day season, and an additional 73 bears during the
state’s first-ever, two-day archery bear harvest, the agency
reported.

The three-day season, held Nov. 20-22, preliminarily ranks as
the eighth-highest statewide harvest. When adding the archery take,
the total preliminary harvest of 2,626 moves up to seventh
place.

However, Mark Ternent, Game Commission bear biologist, noted
that with the extended bear season in certain wildlife management
units running from Nov. 27 through Dec. 2, the total preliminary
harvest is likely to approach 3,000, which would put this year’s
combined bear harvest in line with the previous five years’
harvests.

“While this year’s bear harvest, so far, pales in comparison to
last year’s season, hunters still are on course to register a
impressive harvest,” Ternent said. “So far, this looks to be a
typical season for bear hunters.”

Last year, hunters set a record harvest of 3,331 bears during
the three-day season and, by the end of the extended season, had
pushed the record to 4,164. The combination of record license
sales, high bear population estimates, abundant fall foods and
favorable weather conditions aided in reaching that mark.

Preliminary total bear-harvest figures – two-day archery,
three-day statewide and six-day extended – are expected by Dec. 6,
but official total bear-harvest figures for all three seasons won’t
be available until early 2007.

The top 10 bears processed at check stations for the three-day
bear season all had estimated live weights that exceeded 600
pounds. The largest was a 693-pound male taken by John Eppinette,
of Adamstown, in West Branch Township, Potter County, on Nov.
20.

Other large bears taken during the three-day season were: a
677-pound male taken by Don Stear, of Sagamore, in South Mahoning
Township, Indiana County, on Nov. 20; a 661-pound male taken by Sam
Fisher, of Loysville, in Southwest Madison Township, Perry County,
on Nov. 20; a 649-pound male taken by Leon Bonczewski, of Glen
Lyon, in Newport Township, Luzerne County, on Nov. 20; a 622-pound
male taken by Rick Warfel, of Lancaster, in Cummings Township,
Lycoming County, on Nov. 20; a 621-pound male by Steven Craig, of
Montgomery, in Shrewsbury Township, Lycoming County, on Nov. 20; a
621-pound male taken by Jon Kio of Ulysses, in Allegany Township,
Potter County, on Nov. 20; a 607-pound male taken by Terry Brungart
Jr., of Rebersburg, in Greene Township, Clinton County, on Nov. 20;
a 604-pound male taken by J.E. Allgyer, of Kinzers, in Burnside
Township, Centre County, on Nov. 20; and a 601-pound male taken by
Andrew Miller, of Mill Hall, in Greene Township, Clinton County, on
Nov. 20.

The preliminary three-day bear harvest by wildlife management
unit was as follows: WMU 1A, 12 (9 in 2005); WMU 1B, 37 (37); WMU
2C, 253 (308); WMU 2D, 98 (127); WMU 2E, 97 (114); WMU 2F, 203
(258); WMU 2G, 680 (900); WMU 3A, 225 (284); WMU 3B, 208 (288); WMU
3C, 90 (115); WMU 3D, 120 (237); WMU 4A, 114 (147); WMU 4B, 32
(41); WMU 4C, 69 (104); WMU 4D, 281 (297); and WMU 4E, 34 (60).

The top five bear harvest counties in the state’s three-day
season continue to be in the Northcentral Region. The leading
county was Clinton with 213, followed by Lycoming, 196; Potter,
180; Tioga, 142; and Clearfield, 130.

County harvests by region for the three-day season, followed by
the three-day 2005 preliminary harvests in parentheses, are:

Northwest: Warren, 78 (78); Forest, 46 (67); Venango, 42 (38);
Clarion, 36 (30); Jefferson, 28 (62); Butler, 10 (10); Crawford, 5
(10); Erie, 2 (0); and Mercer, 2 (4).

Southwest: Somerset, 122 (108); Fayette, 59 (73); Indiana, 46
(65); Armstrong, 31 (33); Westmoreland, 22 (44); and Cambria, 13
(30).

Northcentral: Clinton, 213 (227); Lycoming, 196 (238); Potter
180 (211); Tioga, 142 (217); Clearfield, 130 (157); McKean, 129
(146); Centre, 92 (138); Elk, 83 (109); Cameron, 67 (170); and
Union, 40 (33).

Southcentral: Huntingdon, 95 (127); Bedford, 72 (94); Mifflin,
42 (29); Blair, 36 (44); Fulton, 16 (21); Snyder, 15 (11); Juniata,
14 (11); Perry, 8 (7); Franklin, 4 (6); and Cumberland, 1 (0).

Northeast: Sullivan, 67 (80); Wayne, 56 (74); Pike, 48 (94);
Luzerne, 46 (75); Susquehanna, 38 (53); Bradford, 33 (55); Monroe,
30 (69); Wyoming, 24 (24); Carbon, 21 (50); Columbia, 17 (36);
Lackawanna, 13 (18); and Northumberland, 4 (2).

Southeast: Schuylkill, 14 (28); Dauphin, 13 (14); Lebanon, 8
(4); and Berks, 4 (4).

The largest bear harvested during the two-day archery season was
a 458-pound male taken by Christian Landis, of Lancaster, in Cogan
House, Lycoming County, on Nov. 15. Other large bears included: a
457-pound male taken by Mike Rapsky, of Cairnbrook, in Shade
Township, Somerset County, on Nov. 16; and a 407-pound male taken
by Shane Emel, of Mill Hall, in Bald Eagle Township, Clinton
County, on Nov. 15.

The two-day archery season harvest by WMU was: WMU 2C, 9; WMU
2D, 3; WMU 2E, 2; WMU 2F, 2; WMU 2G, 32; WMU 3A, 8; WMU 4A, 2; and
WMU 4D, 15.

County harvests for the two-day archery season by region was:
Northwest: Butler, 2; Venango, 1; and Warren, 1. Southwest:
Indiana, 4; Fayette, 3; Cambria, 1; and Somerset, 1. Northcentral:
Clinton, 12; Centre, 8; Potter, 7; McKean, 5; Tioga, 5; Clearfield,
4; Elk, 3; Lycoming, 3; Union, 3; and Cameron, 1. Southcentral:
Huntingdon, 4; Blair, 2; Mifflin, 2; and Fulton, 1.

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