State bear harvest remains down after first three days of season

Times Leader | November 22nd, 2017 3:41 pm

Hunters during the third day of Pennsylvania’s statewide bear season on Tuesday harvested 318 bears, raising the three-day total to 1,628 — about a 30 percent decrease compared to the 2,308 bears taken during the first three days of the 2016 season.

Extensive rain on the season’s opening day, Nov. 18, led to the harvest decline, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Archery and other early-bear season harvest data is not included in the harvest figures at this time. The statewide bear season closed on Wednesday.

Locally, 35 bears have been harvested in Luzerne County as of Tuesday, a decrease from 62 taken during the first three days of the season last year.

The top 10 bears processed at check stations by the end of the day on Tuesday were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 569 pounds or more.

One bear taken on Tuesday joined the state’s top 10. It almost took top honors.

James M. Langdon, of Wattsburg, took a 691-pound male with a rifle in Cherry Grove Township, Warren County. It places second currently among largest bears taken in the four-day statewide bear season.

The state’s heaviest bear — a male estimated at 700 pounds — was taken in Oil Creek Township, Venango County, by Chad A. Wagner, of Titusville. He took it with a rifle at about 8 a.m. on Nov. 18, the season’s opening day.

The heaviest bear harvested in Luzerne County — a 561-pound male — was taken in Ross Township by Richard B. Kollar of Shickshinny.

Other large bears taken over the four-day season’s first three days – all taken with a rifle – include: a 648-pound male taken Nov. 18 in Dreher Township, Wayne County, by Joseph D. Simon, of Newfoundland; a 609-pound male taken Nov. 18 in Abbott Township, Potter County, by Michael R. Neimeyer, of Spring City; a 601-pound male taken Nov. 20 in Valley Township, Armstrong County, by Bo J. Bowser, of Kittanning; a 595-pound male taken Nov. 18 in St. Marys Township, Elk County, by Stephanie A. Siford, of North East; a 595-pound male taken Nov. 18 in Charleston Township, Tioga County, by Zachery L. Martin, of Wellsboro; a 586-pound male taken Nov. 18 in Oil Creek Township, Crawford County, by Brian K. Baker, of Titusville; a 576-pound male taken Nov. 18 in Homer Township, Potter County, by Kirby R. Kornhaus, of Jonestown; a 569-pound male taken Nov. 21 in Liberty Township, Centre County, by Conner L. Toner, of Beech Creek; a 562-pound male taken Nov. 20 in Beech Creek Township, Clinton County, by William J. Miller, of Beech Creek; a 561-pound male taken Nov. 20 in Fox Township, Sullivan County, by Tyler J. Bagley, Of Montgomery.

The overall 2016 bear harvest was 3,529, the fifth-largest in state history. In 2015, hunters took a total of 3,748 bears – the third-largest harvest all time. The largest harvest – 4,350 bears – happened in 2011, when preliminary three-day totals numbered 2,709.

The preliminary three-day bear harvest by Wildlife Management Unit was as follows: WMU 1A, 14 (27 in 2014); WMU 1B, 53 (99); WMU 2A, 1 (1); WMU 2C, 75 (192); WMU 2D, 91 (79); WMU 2E, 25 (54); WMU 2F, 182 (276); WMU 2G, 356 (515); WMU 2H, 70 (92); WMU 3A, 103 (144); WMU 3B, 167 (165); WMU 3C, 80 (56); WMU 3D, 173 (167); WMU 4A, 59 (108); WMU 4B, 30 (69); WMU 4C, 42 (64); WMU 4D, 79 (158); WMU 4E, 26 (40); and WMU 5A, 2 (1).

The top bear hunting county in the state after three days of season was Lycoming County with 120. It overtook Tioga County, where hunters took 113 bears the first three days of the season. Tioga County had led the state through the first two days of season.

Harvests by region, county:

Northwest (265): Warren, 79 (106); Jefferson, 47 (60); Venango, 41 (75); Clarion, 29 (42); Forest, 28 (64); Crawford, 20 (34); Butler, 9 (8); Erie, 6 (11); and Mercer, 6 (7).

Southwest (110): Somerset, 34 (76); Armstrong, 30 (19); Fayette, 23 (49); Westmoreland, 9 (29); Indiana, 8 (26); and Cambria, 6 (16).

Northcentral (690): Lycoming, 120 (156); Tioga, 113 (143); Potter, 108 (126); Clinton, 106 (179); Elk, 59 (66); McKean, 54 (88); Clearfield, 49 (87); Cameron, 40 (66); Centre, 31 (71); and Union, 10 (13).

Southcentral (128): Bedford, 26 (59); Huntingdon, 39 (51); Fulton, 16 (28); Perry, 9 (28); Juniata, 9 (27); Blair, 6 (21); Mifflin, 9 (20); Franklin, 7 (11); Snyder, 2 (8); Cumberland, 3 (3); and Adams, 2 (0).

Northeast (408): Pike, 89 (50); Sullivan, 60 (37); Wayne, 54 (40); Luzerne, 35 (62); Monroe, 33 (46); Wyoming, 29 (22); Bradford, 28 (39); Lackawanna, 25 (25); Carbon, 23 (22); Susquehanna, 19 (24); Columbia, 9 (20); Northumberland, 3 (1); and Montour, 1 (1).

Southeast (27): Dauphin, 13 (21); Schuylkill, 6 (16); Berks 4 (1); Lebanon, 2 (7); and Northampton, 2 (1).

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Times Leader

Reach Tom Venesky at 570-991-6395 or on Twitter @TomVenesky


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