Preliminary Bear Harvest Moves to Second Place

No Gravatar

HARRISBURG – With an additional 419 bears taken during the extended bear season that was open last week in certain parts of the state, Pennsylvania Game Commission preliminary harvest reports accounted for 3,436 bears, which moves this year’s harvest into second place in state bear harvests. Updated preliminary results also now show that the two-day archery bear season resulted in a harvest of 68, and the statewide three-day season resulted in a harvest of 2,948.

Official total bear harvest figures for all three seasons won’t be available until early 2009, after a detailed review of each harvest report is completed.

“Hunters registered an impressive harvest, especially in light of last year’s harvest of 2,360, which was impacted by weather conditions on the first-day of the three-day statewide season,” said Mark Ternent, Game Commission bear biologist. “This year’s harvest falls more in line with what we had anticipated, and ranks second only to the 2005 season, in which hunters took 4,164 bears, and ahead of the 2006 harvest of 3,122.”

Other recent bear harvests include: 2,598 in 1998; 1,740 in 1999; 3,075 in 2000; 3,063 in 2001; 2,686 in 2002; 3,000 in 2003; and 2,972 in 2004.

The top 10 bears processed at check stations for the 2008 season all had estimated live weights exceeding 600 pounds. Morgan C. Neipert, of Tobyhanna, harvested the largest bear, which was a male that weighed in at 716 pounds (estimated live weight). The bear was taken in Tobyhanna Township, Monroe County, at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 25.

Other large bears included: a 691-pound male taken by Ray E. Barrick, of McAlisterville, in Todd Township, Huntingdon County, at 1 p.m. on Nov. 24; a 680-pound male taken by Brian R. Clark Jr., of Olanta, in Pike Township, Clearfield County, at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 24; 1 677-pound male taken by Larry W. Wolfe of Shickshinny, in Conyngham Township, Luzerne County, at 3 p.m. on Dec. 4; a 651-pound male taken by Ryan M. Miller, of Pittston, in Bear Creek Township, Luzerne County, at 9:50 a.m. on Nov. 24; a 650-pound male taken by Walter Rupnik, of Breinigsville, in Green Township, Pike County, at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 24; a 642-pound male taken by James P. McDonough, of Moscow, in Spring Brook Township, Lackawanna County, at noon on Nov. 25; a 636-pound male taken by Albert C. Leddon II, of Pittsburgh, in Girard Township, Clearfield County, at 12:55 p.m. on Nov. 24; a 617-pound male taken by Kelly J. Devine, of Rome, in Orwell Township, Bradford County, at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 5; and a 612-pound male taken by Jay P. Martin, of Lewisburg, in Hartley Township, Union County, at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 25.

The preliminary three-season bear harvests by Wildlife Management Unit (with 2007 figures in parentheses) were: WMU 1A, 21 (7); WMU 1B, 67 (29); WMU 2A, 1 (1); WMU 2C, 227 (238); WMU 2D, 166 (94); WMU 2E, 117 (50); WMU 2F, 246 (224); WMU 2G, 738 (545); WMU 3A, 313 (185); WMU 3B, 390 (213); WMU 3C, 177 (145); WMU 3D, 199 (191); WMU 4A, 145 (100); WMU 4B, 43 (42); WMU 4C, 94 (54); WMU 4D, 448 (184); WMU 4E, 52 (54); and WMU 5C, 1 (0).

Leading the top five bear harvest counties this year was Potter, with 294; followed by: Lycoming, with 251; Tioga, 236; McKean, 141; and Clinton, 139.

County harvests by region for the three seasons (with 2007 figures in parentheses) are:

Northwest: Clarion, 65 (24); Venango, 64 (39); Jefferson, 62 (38); Forest, 60 (55); Warren, 59 (71); Crawford, 31 (4); Butler, 13 (9); and Erie, 10 (2); Mercer, 6 (0); and Lawrence, 1 (0).

Southwest: Somerset, 103 (85); Indiana, 66 (31); Armstrong, 50 (43); Fayette, 43 (78); Cambria, 40 (10); and Westmoreland, 37 (31).

Northcentral: Potter 294 (106); Lycoming, 251 (138); Tioga, 236 (121); McKean, 141 (102); Clinton, 139 (171); Centre, 125 (60); Clearfield, 113 (81); Elk, 92 (62); Cameron, 75 (118); and Union, 57 (27).

Southcentral: Huntingdon, 134 (72); Bedford, 80 (61); Mifflin, 56 (21); Blair, 51 (35); Snyder, 44 (19); Juniata, 22 (14); Perry, 14 (6); and Fulton, 13 (8).

Northeast: Sullivan, 134 (57); Wayne, 107 (78); Bradford, 102 (86); Pike, 73 (81); Luzerne, 59 (61); Wyoming, 55 (26); Monroe, 54 (35); Susquehanna, 40 (49); Lackawanna, 39 (28); Carbon, 32 (31); Columbia, 24 (39); and Northumberland, 6 (2); and Montour, 1 (0).

Southeast: Schuylkill, 36 (14); Dauphin, 19 (6); Northampton, 4 (4); Lehigh, 2 (0); and Berks, 1 (0).