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Hunters during the third day of Pennsylvania’s state-wide bear season harvested 223 bears, raising the three-day total to 2,487 — an increase compared to the 2,289 bears taken during the first three days of the 2014 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.

Bears have been harvested in 54 counties during the state-wide season so far.

The top 10 bears processed at check stations by Wednesday were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 616 pounds or more.

One bear taken on Tuesday joined the state’s top 10.

John Gilpin, of Newfoundland, harvested a male estimated at 629 pounds Tuesday in Greene Township, Pike County.

Two 713-pound bears remain tied for the heaviest among those harvested during the statewide season. A 713-pound male, was taken in Granville Township, Mifflin County, on Monday by Gregory A. Wilson, of Lewistown; and another male estimated at 713 pounds was taken Nov. 21 in Blair Township, Blair County, by Richard A. Watt, of Gallitizen.

Other large bears taken in the season’s opening day include: a 685-pound male taken in Letterkenny Township, Franklin County, by Dustin J. Foust, of Orrstown; a 649-pound male taken in Limestone Township, Warren County, by Matthew B. Stanga, of Tarentum; a 648-pound male taken in Brush Creek Township, Fulton County, by Andrew D. Fischer, of Crystal Spring; a 640-pound male taken in Weatherly Township, Carbon County, by Kenneth J. Mehlig, of Weatherly; a 618-pound male taken in Blooming Grove Township, Pike County, by Brad D. Losito, Hamburg; a 617-pound male taken in Henry Clay Township, Fayette County, by Glenn P. Pyeritz, of Markleysburg; and a 616-pound male taken in Shrewsbury Township, Sullivan County, by Wesley W. Sznaider, of Sugar Run.

Hunters harvested a total of 3,366 bears during the 2014 season — the seventh-largest harvest in state history. The state’s largest bear harvest — 4,350 bears — happened in 2011, when preliminary three-day totals numbered 3,023.

The top bear hunting county in the state after three days of season was Lycoming County, with 222. It held off Clinton County, where hunters took 202 bears the first three days of the season.

Three-day harvests by county and region are:

Southeast (48): Dauphin, 22 (16); Schuylkill, 20 (25); Lebanon, 3 (1); Lehigh, 2 (1); Berks 1 (3); and Northampton, 0 (1).

Southcentral (291): Huntingdon, 82 (62); Bedford, 57 (54); Fulton, 34 (21); Blair, 27 (32); Juniata, 20 (14); Franklin, 18 (11); Mifflin, 18 (29); Perry, 17 (35); Snyder, 14 (9); and Cumberland, 4 (3).

Northwest (402): Warren, 116 (87); Forest, 70 (37); Venango, 69 (55); Clarion, 58 (48); Jefferson, 52 (48); Butler, 16 (19); Crawford, 11 (21); Mercer, 6 (4); and Erie, 4 (13).

Southwest (204): Somerset, 61 (77); Fayette, 44 (78); Armstrong, 36 (30); Cambria, 24 (11); Indiana, 19 (17); Westmoreland, 19 (20); and Allegheny, 1 (0).

Northcentral (1,070): Lycoming, 222 (201); Clinton, 202 (142); Tioga, 118 (176); Centre, 104 (84); Clearfield, 103 (64); McKean, 84 (76); Cameron, 73 (70); Elk, 70 (72); Potter, 69 (102); and Union, 25 (29).

Northeast (472): Pike, 107 (77); Luzerne, 60 (43); Monroe, 57 (37); Bradford, 47 (53); Wayne, 44 (31); Sullivan, 37 (47); Carbon, 27 (25); Wyoming, 26 (25); Susquehanna, 23 (31); Lackawanna, 21 (12); Columbia, 19 (8); Northumberland, 3 (2); and Montour, 1 (0).

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