HARRISBURG _ Pennsylvania Game Commission officials on Monday announced that hunters started the 2012 black bear season by taking a preliminary harvest of 1,530 black bears in 51 counties on Saturday, Nov. 17, the first day of the four-day statewide bear season.

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.

The 2012 first-day preliminary harvest compares with 1,936 in 2011, which is when hunters harvested a season record of 4,350 bears. Also, in 2010, hunters harvested 1,751 on the first day of the season, which was the first season to open on a Saturday.

Other first-day harvest totals were 1,897 in 2009; 1,725 in 2008; 1,005 in 2007; 1,461 in 2006; 2,026 in 2005; 1,573 in 2004; 1,454 in 2003;1,348 2002; 1,812 in 2001; and 1,691 in 2000.

The top 10 bears processed at check stations by Monday all had estimated live weights that exceeded 530 pounds. Timothy J. Moffett, of Barto, harvested the largest bear so far this season. It was a 652-pound (actual live weight) male taken in Middle Smithfield Township, Monroe County.


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Other large bears (all estimated live weights) included: a 620-pound male, taken by Robert A. Pitts, of Meadville, in Roulette, Potter County; a 598-pound male, taken by Michael P. Intallura, of Renovo, in Noyes, Clinton County; a 559-pound male, taken by Clayton L. Dulaney, of Towanda, in Auburn, Susquehanna County; a 551-pound male, taken by Michael T. Guenot, of Snow Shoe, in Snow Shoe, Centre County; a 550-pound male, taken by Brian M. Stanley, of Pittsburgh, in Bradys Bend, Armstrong County; a 536-pound male, taken by Aquilla S. King, of Montgomery, in Clinton, Lycoming County; a 535-pound female, taken by Thomas M. Miller, of Lock Haven, in McHenry, Lycoming County; a 535-pound male, taken by David J. Shelinski, of Picture Rocks, in Deerfield, Tioga County; and a 531-pound male, taken by Randall D. Michel, of Butler, in Donegal, Butler County.

The top bear harvest county in the state on the first day of season was Lycoming with 151, followed by Clinton, 126; Tioga, 88; Warren, 63; and Potter, 62.

Following are the bear harvest numbers for the regional counties:

Southcentral: Huntingdon, 51; Bedford, 47; Mifflin, 30; Juniata, 20; Blair, 19; Perry, 17; Fulton, 13; Franklin, 8; Snyder, 5; and Adams, 1.

Southeast: Dauphin, 22; Schuylkill, 9; Berks, 1; Lehigh, 1; and Northampton, 1.

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