Friday, December 01, 2006

Pennsylvania Bear Harvest Impressive

Release #156-06
Nov. 29, 2006

First-ever archery bear hunt results in a harvest of 73

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission bear check stations recorded
a preliminary harvest of 2,553 bears during the recently completed
three-day season, and an additional 73 bears during the state's
first-ever, two-day archery bear harvest.

The three-day season, held Nov. 20-22, preliminarily ranks as the
eighth highest statewide harvest. When adding the archery take, the
total preliminary harvest of 2,626 moves up to seventh place. However,
Mark Ternent, Game Commission bear biologist, noted that with the
extended bear season in certain Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) running
from Nov. 27 through Dec. 2, the total preliminary harvest is likely to
approach 3,000, which would put this year's combined bear harvest in
line with the previous five years' harvests.

"While this year's bear harvest, so far, pales in comparison to last
year's season, hunters still are on course to register a impressive
harvest," Ternent said. "So far, this looks to be a typical season for
bear hunters."

Last year, hunters set a record harvest of 3,331 bears during the
three-day season and, by the end of the extended season, had pushed the
record to 4,164. The combination of record license sales, high bear
population estimates, abundant fall foods and favorable weather
conditions aided in reaching that mark. Preliminary total bear harvest
figures - two-day archery, three-day statewide and six-day extended -
are expected by Dec. 6, but official total bear harvest figures for all
three seasons won't be available until early 2007.

A printing error in the 2006-2007 Pennsylvania Hunting and Trapping
Digest incorrectly lists on a detachable pull-out card found between
pages 28 and 29 that the extended bear season (Nov. 27-Dec. 2) is open
in WMU 4C. The extended bear season is not open in WMU 4C.

Bear licenses had to have been purchased prior to the start of the
two-week rifle deer season on Nov. 27.

The top ten bears processed at check stations for the three-day bear
season all had estimated live weights that exceeded 600 pounds. The
largest was a 693-pound male taken by John D. Eppinette of Adamstown, in
West Branch Township, Potter County, at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 20.

Other large bears taken during the three-day season were: a 677-pound
male taken by Donald L. Stear of Sagamore, in South Mahoning Township,
Indiana County, at 7:15 a.m. on Nov. 20; a 661-pound male taken by
Samuel I. Fisher of Loysville, in Southwest Madison Township, Perry
County, at 8:49 a.m. on Nov. 20; a 649-pound male taken by Leon L.
Bonczewski of Glen Lyon, in Newport Township, Luzerne County, at 9:30
a.m. on Nov. 20; a 622-pound male taken by Rick A. Warfel of Lancaster,
in Cummings Township, Lycoming County, at 8 a.m. on Nov. 20; a 621-pound
male by Steven J. Craig of Montgomery, in Shrewsbury Township, Lycoming
County, 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 20; a 621-pound male taken by Jonathan E. Kio
of Ulysses, in Allegany Township, Potter County, 3:15 p.m. on Nov. 20; a
607, Clinton County, 9:15 a.m. on Nov. 20; a 604-pound male taken
by J.E. Allgyer of Kinzers, in Burnside Township, Centre County, at 7:12
a.m. on Nov. 20; and a 601-pound male taken by Andrew M. Miller of Mill
Hall, in Greene Township, Clinton County, at 7:10 a.m. on Nov. 20.

The preliminary three-day bear harvest by Wildlife Management Unit was
as follows: WMU 1A, 12 (9 in 2005); WMU 1B, 37 (37); WMU 2C, 253 (308);
WMU 2D, 98 (127); WMU 2E, 97 (114); WMU 2F, 203 (258); WMU 2G, 680
(900); WMU 3A, 225 (284); WMU 3B, 208 (288); WMU 3C, 90 (115); WMU 3D,
120 (237); WMU 4A, 114 (147); WMU 4B, 32 (41); WMU 4C, 69 (104); WMU 4D,
281 (297); and > WMU 4E, 34 (60).

The top five bear harvest counties in the state's three-day season
continue to hail from the Northcentral Region. The leading county was
Clinton with 213, followed by Lycoming, 196; Potter, 180; Tioga, 142;
and Clearfield, 130.

County harvests by region for the three-day season, followed by the
three-day 2005 preliminary harvests in parentheses, are:

Northwest: Warren, 78 (78); Forest, 46 (67); Venango, 42 (38);
Clarion, 36 (30); Jefferson, 28 (62); Butler, 10 (10); Crawford, 5 (10);
Erie, 2 (0); and Mercer, 2 (4).

Southwest: Somerset, 122 (108); Fayette, 59 (73); Indiana, 46 (65);
Armstrong, 31 (33); Westmoreland, 22 (44); and Cambria, 13 (30).

Northcentral: Clinton, 213 (227); Lycoming, 196 (238); Potter 180
(211); Tioga, 142 (217); Clearfield, 130 (157); McKean, 129 (146);
Centre, 92 (138); Elk, 83 (109); Cameron, 67 (170); and Union, 40 (33).

Southcentral: Huntingdon, 95 (127); Bedford, 72 (94); Mifflin, 42
(29); Blair, 36 (44); Fulton, 16 (21); Snyder, 15 (11); Juniata, 14
(11); Perry, 8 (7); Franklin, 4 (6); and Cumberland, 1 (0).

Northeast: Sullivan, 67 (80); Wayne, 56 (74); Pike, 48 (94); Luzerne,
46 (75); Susquehanna, 38 (53); Bradford, 33 (55); Monroe, 30 (69);
Wyoming, 24 (24); Carbon, 21 (50); Columbia, 17 (36); Lackawanna, 13
(18); and Northumberland, 4 (2).

Southeast: Schuylkill, 14 (28); Dauphin, 13 (14); Lebanon, 8 (4); and
Berks, 4 (4).

The largest bear harvested during the two-day archery season was a
458-pound male taken by Christian Landis of Lancaster, in Cogan House,
Lycoming County, at 8:25 a.m. on Nov. 15. Other large bears included: a
457-pound male taken by Michael Rapsky of Cairnbrook, in Shade Township,
Somerset County, at 4 p.m. on Nov. 16; and a 407-pound male taken by
Shane Emel of Mill Hall, in Bald Eagle Township, Clinton County, at 4:30
p.m. on Nov. 15.

The two-day archery season harvest by WMU was: WMU 2C, 9; WMU 2D, 3;
WMU 2E, 2; WMU 2F, 2; WMU 2G, 32; WMU 3A, 8; WMU 4A, 2; and WMU 4D, 15.

County harvests for the two-day archery season by region was:

Northwest: Butler, 2; Venango, 1; and Warren, 1.

Southwest: Indiana, 4; Fayette, 3; Cambria, 1; and Somerset, 1.

Northcentral: Clinton, 12; Centre, 8; Potter, 7; McKean, 5; Tioga, 5;
Clearfield, 4; Elk, 3; Lycoming, 3; Union, 3; and Cameron, 1.

Southcentral: Huntingdon, 4; Blair, 2; Mifflin, 2; and Fulton, 1.

Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is
responsible for conserving and managing all wild birds and mammals in
the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits, enforcing
hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres
of State Game Lands it has purchased over the years with hunting and
furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The agency
also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic
organizations and sportsmen's clubs.

The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer
dollars for its annual operating budget. The agency is funded by
license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal
Pittman-Robertson program, which is an excise tax collected through the
sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil,
gas, coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.