Pennsylvania Bear Hunters Have A Fine Opening Day

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Pennsylvania Bear Hunters Have A Fine Opening DayHARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission officials today announced that hunters started the 2008 black bear season by taking a preliminary harvest of slightly more than 1,700 black bears in 50 counties.

Game Commission employees processed 1,725 bears at the agency’s check stations on the opening day of the three-day statewide bear season. The 2008 first-day preliminary harvest compares with 1,005 in 2007; 1,461 in 2006; 2,026 in 2005; 1,573 in 2004; 1,454 in 2003;1,348 2002; 1,812 in 2001; and 1,691 in 2000.

“The first day harvest is the third highest opening day harvest recorded for Pennsylvania,” said Mark Ternent, Game Commission bear biologist. “Weather cooperated, there was some snow on the ground and hunters appear to have had a fine day afield for the opener. Our season is off to a good start.”

The top 10 bears processed at check stations on Monday all had estimated live weights that exceeded 580 pounds. Ray E. Barrick, of McAlisterville, harvested the largest bear, which was a male that weighed in at 691 pounds (estimated live weight). The bear was taken in Todd Township, Huntingdon County, at 1 p.m.

Other large bears included: a 680-pound male taken by Brian R. Clark Jr., of Olanta, in Pike Township, Clearfield County, at 2:30 p.m.; a 651-pound male taken by Ryan M. Miller, of Pittston, in Bear Creek Township, Luzerne County, at 9:50 a.m.; a 650-pound male taken by Walter Rupnik, of Breinigsville, in Green Township, Pike County, at 9:30 a.m.; and 611-pound male taken by Matthew N. Shirk, of East Earl, in Union Township, Huntingdon County, at 10:30 a.m..

The preliminary first-day bear harvest by Wildlife Management Unit was as follows: WMU 1A, 14 (2 in 2007); WMU 1B, 40 (17); WMA 2A, 1 (1); WMU 2C, 145 (120); WMU 2D, 97 (44); WMU 2E, 63 (36); WMU 2F, 152 (134); WMU 2G, 363 (257); WMU 3A, 169 (88); WMU 3B, 186 (54); WMU 3C, 42 (18); WMU 3D, 123 (48); WMU 4A, 85 (53); WMU 4B, 20 (19); WMU 4C, 41 (22); WMU 4D, 174 (83); WMU 4E, 9 (9); and WMU 5C, 1 (0). 

The top bear harvest county in the state after the first day of season was Potter with 152 (54 in 2007), followed by Lycoming, 135 (54); Tioga, 124 (63); McKean, 95 (38); and Clearfield and Huntingdon, both with 67.

County harvests by region for the opening day, followed by the opening day 2007 preliminary harvest in parentheses, are:

Northwest: Venango, 44 (14); Clarion, 36 (14); Warren, 34 (51); Jefferson, 33 (22); Forest, 31 (38); Crawford, 19 (1); Erie, 6 (1); Butler, 5 (5); and Mercer, 3 (0).

Southwest: Somerset, 64 (56); Armstrong, 37 (21); Indiana, 37 (16); Westmoreland, 30 (19); Fayette, 28 (35); Cambria, 20 (4); and Beaver, 2 (0).

Northcentral: Potter, 152 (54); Lycoming, 135 (54); Tioga, 124 (63); McKean, 95 (38); Clearfield, 67 (49); Clinton, 55 (78); Elk, 48 (38); Centre, 47 (27); Cameron, 26 (57); and Union, 22 (11).

Southcentral: Huntingdon, 67 (38); Bedford, 52 (29); Mifflin, 27 (7); Snyder, 17 (5); Blair, 11 (13); Juniata, 11 (9); Fulton, 8 (2); and Perry, 4 (4).

Northeast: Sullivan, 56 (12); Pike, 45 (22); Monroe, 37 (7); Bradford, 33 (16); Wayne, 32 (14); Luzerne, 30 (10); Lackawanna, 19 (5); Wyoming, 18 (2) Carbon, 14 (8); Susquehanna, 11 (7); Columbia, 6 (8); and Northumberland, 1 (2).

Southeast: Schuylkill, 18 (7); Dauphin, 5 (4); Northampton, 2 (2); and Berks, 1 (0).