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PGC Releases Bear Harvest Totals

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After two days, 1,622 black bears have been harvested as part of Pennsylvania’s statewide bear season, according to preliminary totals released Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Bears have been harvested in 54 counties during the statewide season. In many counties, the harvest is up substantially from 2017, when wind and rain impacted opening day success.

Three bears exceeding 600 pounds were taken on the season’s second day, Nov. 19. The top 10 bears processed at check stations over the season’s first two days were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 600 pounds or more.

The largest of those bears – a male estimated at 704 pounds – was taken in Goshen Township, Clearfield County, by Mickey L. Moore, of Clearfield, Pa. He took it with a rifle on Nov. 17, the season’s opening day.

The second-largest bear was a 697-pound male taken with a rifle by Scott Yorty, of Bloomsburg, on the Nov. 19, the season’s second day, in Chapman Township, Clinton County.

One of the more intriguing bear harvests was a 679-pound male taken at 5 yards with a .357 handgun by Jordan M. Tutmaher, of Warren. Harvested Nov. 17 in Farmington Township, Warren County, the bear appeared in a drive of a Christmas tree patch.

Other large bears taken over the season’s first two days – all taken with a rifle – include: a 681-pounder taken Nov. 17 in Coal Township, Northumberland County, by Robert L. Britton III, of Coal Township; a 680-pounder taken Nov. 19 in Chest Township, Clearfield County, by Douglas D. Routch, of Curwensville; a 623-pound male taken Nov. 17 in Newport Township, Luzerne County, by Corrina M. Kishbaugh, of Nanticoke; a 614-pound male taken Nov. 17 in Toby Township, Clarion County, by Thomas C. Wilson, of Rimersburg; a 608-pound male taken Nov. 19 in Upper Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, by Larry E. Pletcher, of Rockwood; a 607-pound male taken in Hazle Township, Luzerne County, by Brian P. Bonner Jr., of McAdoo; a 604-pound male taken in Young Township, Jefferson County, by Matthew J. Smith, of Punxsutawney.

The 2018 two-day preliminary harvest of 1,622 is an increase over the 1,310 bears taken during the statewide season’s first two days in 2017. In 2016, hunters took 1,893 bears over the same period.

The preliminary two-day bear harvest by Wildlife Management Unit was as follows: WMU 1A, 16 (13 in 2015); WMU 1B, 91 (43); WMU 2A, 5 (1); WMU 2C, 105 (63); WMU 2D, 102 (76); WMU 2E, 53 (20); WMU 2F, 174 (151); WMU 2G, 298 (263); WMU 2H, 55 (64); WMU 3A, 86 (88); WMU 3B, 103 (131); WMU 3C, 39 (63); WMU 3D, 115 (156); WMU 4A, 112 (50); WMU 4B, 49 (23); WMU 4C, 69 (28); WMU 4D, 103 (56); WMU 4E, 44 (19); and WMU 5A, 3 (2).

Archery and other early bear season harvest data is not included in the preliminary statewide firearms bear harvest. Collection of that archery and early bear seasons data remains ongoing.

The top bear-hunting county in the state over the first two days of the season was Clinton County with 102 bears. It was followed by Lycoming County with 87 bears.

Two-day preliminary harvests by county and region are:

Northwest (331): Venango, 65 (37); Jefferson, 59 (41); Warren, 46 (61); Forest, 45 (23); Crawford, 43 (19); Clarion, 33 (25); Butler, 15 (6); Erie, 14 (5); and Mercer, 11 (6).

Southwest (152): Somerset, 51 (31); Fayette, 32 (18); Indiana, 28 (5); Armstrong, 21 (25); Cambria, 13 (5); and Westmoreland, 7 (6).

Northcentral (561): Clinton, 102 (83); Lycoming, 87 (74); Tioga, 71 (93); Clearfield, 69 (40); Cameron, 54 (34); Potter, 48 (84); Centre, 40 (17); Elk, 39 (53); McKean, 38 (44); and Union, 13 (10).

Southcentral (228): Huntingdon, 70 (33); Bedford, 50 (24); Fulton, 32 (11); Blair, 17 (4); Juniata, 15 (7); Franklin, 14 (7); Perry, 13 (7); Mifflin, 10 (7); Adams, 3 (2); Snyder, 3 (2); and Cumberland, 1 (2).

Northeast (300): Bradford, 43 (25); Luzerne, 40 (28); Pike, 38 (83); Monroe, 36 (31); Wayne, 26 (44); Sullivan, 24 (49); Wyoming, 24 (21); Carbon, 19 (15); Columbia, 16 (6); Northumberland, 15 (1); Lackawanna, 12 (19); Susquehanna, 7 (16); and Montour, 0 (1).

Southeast (50): Dauphin, 25 (9); Schuylkill, 13, (5); Lebanon, 5 (1); Lehigh, 3 (0); Northampton, 3 (1); and Berks, 1 (4).

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