HARRISBURG - Two days of the statewide four-day bear season have produced a preliminary harvest of 2,709 bears, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission check station reports filed this morning. Of interest in today's report is that a bear was harvested in Allegheny County, which marks the first time a bear was taken by a hunter there since the agency began keeping harvest records in 1949.
This year's two-day bear harvest total mirrors that of 2009, when 2,709 bears were checked by Game Commission personnel. Last year, 2,542 bears were brought to Game Commission check stations after two days of hunting, which also included a Saturday opener.
In 2005, when the state record bear harvest was set, agency personnel processed 2,875 bears through the first two days of the season.
The top 10 bears processed at check stations, so far, all had estimated live weights that exceeded 629 pounds. Jonathan E. Byler, of Ulysses, harvested the largest bear, which was a male that weighed in at 746 pounds (estimated live weight). The bear was taken in Ulysses, Potter County, at 1:45 p.m. on Nov. 19.
Other large bears (all estimated live weights) included: a 734-pound male, taken by Steven Camasta, of Lakeview, in Salem, Wayne County, on Nov. 19; a 733-pound male, taken by John J. Hennick, of Cambria, in Bell, Clearfield County, on Nov. 19; a 729-pound male, taken by William Simpson, of East Brady, in Highland, Elk County on Nov. 21; a 714-pound male, taken by Timothy Kiser, of Karns City, in Bradys Bend, Armstrong County on Nov. 19; a 706-pound male, taken by Paul Hoyt, of Levittown, in Lehigh, Wayne County on Nov. 19; a 678-pound male, taken by Matthew Romano, of Conshohocken, in Fox, Sullivan County, on Nov. 19; a 675-pound male, taken by Sheldon Weyant of Penn, in Poter, Jefferson County on Nov. 21; a 660-pound male, taken by Dale Kobal, of Warrior Run, in Nanticoke, Luzerne County on Nov. 21; and a 629-pound male, taken by Jeremiah M. Bauer, of Hebron, Ohio, in Wharton, Potter County.
After two days of the four-day season, the top bear harvest county in the state remained Potter with 247. However, in the rest of the line up of the top five counties, Lycoming recorded 239 bears, overtaking Tioga, with 223 bears. The other two counties stayed in order: McKean, 168; and Clinton, 142.
County harvests by region for the first two days are:
Northwest: Warren, 98; Forest, 72; Venango, 40; Jefferson, 32; Clarion, 30; Crawford, 10; Butler, 7; Erie, 6; and Mercer, 6.
Southwest: Somerset, 62; Armstrong, 52; Fayette, 51; Cambria, 25; Westmoreland, 13; Indiana, 11; and Allegheny, 1.
Northcentral: Potter 247; Lycoming, 239; Tioga, 223; McKean, 168; Clinton, 142; Cameron, 88; Elk, 125; Clearfield, 122; Centre, 80; and Union, 24.
Southcentral: Bedford, 50; Huntingdon, 48; Mifflin, 21; Juniata, 19; Blair, 16; Fulton, 11; Perry, 10; Snyder, 9; Franklin, 8; and Cumberland, 2.
Northeast: Sullivan, 103; Wayne, 86; Pike, 74; Luzerne, 46; Monroe, 43; Bradford, 40; Carbon, 24; Susquehanna, 27; Wyoming, 24; Lackawanna, 14; Columbia, 10; and Northumberland, 1.
Southeast: Dauphin, 23; Schuylkill, 16; Lebanon, 8; Lehigh, 1; and Northampton, 1.
Hunters with an unfilled bear license may participate in extended bear seasons that run concurrent with all or portions of the first week of the firearms deer season. For those deer hunters who didn't purchase a bear license, but are headed to an area where the extended bear season is being held, bear license sales will reopen from Nov. 24 through Nov. 27.
For details about those areas open to extended bear hunting and the dates, please see pages 36 and 37 of the 2011-12 Digest. Bear check stations opened during the extended bear seasons can be found on page 38 of the 2011-12 Digest.
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