Pennsylvania –-(Ammoland.com)- The first day of Pennsylvania’s statewide bear season resulted in a harvest of 1,297 black bears, according to preliminary totals released Monday by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Archery and other early bear season harvest data still is being entered into the Game Commission’s database, and is not available at this time.
Bears have been harvested in 51 counties during the statewide season so far.
The top 10 bears processed at check stations by Monday were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 550 pounds or more.
The largest of those bears – a male estimated at 700 pounds – was taken in Barrett Township, Monroe County, by Chad D. Nauman, of Cresco, Pa. He took it with a rifle at about 7 a.m. on Nov. 19, the season’s opening day.
Other large bears taken in the season’s opening day – all taken with a rifle – include: a 642-pound male taken in Sterling Township, Wayne County, by Randy D. Elders, of Greentown, Pa.; a 622-pound male taken in Porter Township, Pike County, by Joseph M. Skutches Jr., of Nazareth, Pa.; a 621-pound male taken in Tionesta Township, Forest County, by Ronald J. Reitlinger, of Cranberry Township, Pa.; a 616-pound male taken in Tuscarora Township, Juniata County, by Arron J. Zimmerman, of Port Royal, Pa.; a 610-pound male taken in Scrubgrass Township, Venango County, by John J. Ippolito, Gibsonia, Pa.; a 590-pound male taken in Bratton Township, Mifflin County, by Caleb G. Yoder, of Lewistown, Pa.; a 572-pound male taken in Cherry Township, Sullivan County, by Landon R. Faidley, of Ridgeley, W.Va.; a 569-pound male taken in Newport Township, Luzerne County, by Leon L. Bonczewski, of Glenlyon, Pa.; and a 558-pound male taken in Union Township, Tioga County, by Thomas J. Ward, of West Chester, Pa.
The 2016 first-day preliminary harvest is a decrease compared to 1,508 bears taken during the 2015 opener. Hunters in 2014 harvested 1,623 bears on the opening day.
The overall 2015 bear harvest was 3,748, the third largest is state history. In 2014, hunters took a total of 3,366 bears – the seventh-largest harvest all time. The largest harvest – 4,350 bears – happened in 2011, when preliminary first-day totals numbered 1,936.
Other first-day harvest totals were 1,320 in 2013; 1,751 in 2010; 1,897 in 2009; 1,725 in 2008; 1,005 in 2007; 1,461 in 2007; and 1,461 in 2006; and 2,026 in 2005.
The preliminary first‐day bear harvest by Wildlife Management Unit was as follows: WMU 1A, 9 (10 in 2016); WMU 1B, 24 (35); WMU 2A, 1, (0);WMU 2B, 0 (2); WMU 2C, 90 (133); WMU 2D, 37 (99); WMU 2E, 27 (20); WMU 2F, 145 (208); WMU 2G, 303 (275); WMU 2H, 45 (31); WMU 3A, 70 (27); WMU 3B, 95 (133); WMU 3C, 39 (41); WMU 3D, 105 (160); WMU 4A, 83 (76); WMU 4B, 51 (60); WMU 4C, 44 (46); WMU 4D, 102 (130); WMU 4E, 25 (17); WMU 5A, 1 (0); and WMU 5C, 1 (0).
The top bear hunting county in the state on the first day of the season was Lycoming County, with 106.
Opening-day harvests by county and region are:
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