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Hunters during the final day of Pennsylvania’s state-wide bear season harvested 143 bears, raising the state-wide season total to 2,693 — an increase compared to the 2,444 bears taken during the four days of the state-wide season in 2014.

Archery and other early bear season harvest data still is being entered into the Game Commission’s database, and final tally of the total bear harvest will be released at a later date, after all bear seasons for the 2015-16 license year are completed.

Bears were harvested in 54 counties during the state-wide season in 2015.

The top 10 bears processed at check stations were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 618 pounds or more.

Two bears checked on the season’s final day joined the top 10 list.

Chad A. Seeger, of Port Matilda, harvested a male estimated at 632 pounds late in the afternoon on Nov. 24 in Worth Township, Centre County; and Skyler M. Hubler, of Dushore, harvested a male estimated at 631 pounds in Hillsgrove Township, Sullivan County at 9 a.m. on Nov. 25.

Two 713-pound bears tied for the heaviest among those harvested during the state-wide season. A 713-pound male was taken in Granville Township, Mifflin County, on Nov. 23 by Gregory A. Wilson, of Lewistown, Pa.; and another male estimated at 713 pounds was taken Nov. 21 in Blair Township, Blair County, by Richard A. Watt, of Gallitzen, Pa.

Other large bears taken during the state-wide season 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 629-pound male taken by John Gilpin, of Newfoundland, in Greene Township, Pike County;  and a 618-pound male taken in Blooming Grove Township, Pike County, by Brad D. Losito, Hamburg.

Hunters harvested a total of 3,366 bears during the 2014 season — the seventh-largest harvest in state history. The 2,693 bears taken during the state-wide season, compares to 2012 — the third-largest harvest on record. Hunters in 2012 harvested 2,639 bears during the state-wide season, and 3,623 bears overall.

The state’s largest bear harvest — 4,350 bears — happened in 2011, when preliminary four-day totals numbered 3,154.

The top bear hunting county in the statewide season was Lycoming County, with 237. It held off Clinton County, where hunters took 224 bears during the state-wide season.

Harvests by county and region during the statewide season are:

Southeast (53): Dauphin, 23 (17); Schuylkill, 23 (25); Lebanon, 3 (2); Lehigh, 2 (2); Berks 2 (3); and Northampton, 0 (1).

Southcentral (318): Huntingdon, 88 (65); Bedford, 61 (60); Fulton, 36 (22); Blair, 30 (34); Juniata, 24 (16); Perry, 20 (35); Franklin, 19 (11); Mifflin, 19 (29); Snyder, 14 (9); Cumberland, 7 (3); and Adams 0 (1).

Northwest (431): Warren, 122 (93); Venango, 73 (65); Forest, 72 (39); Clarion, 64 (50); Jefferson, 58 (53); Butler, 18 (23); Crawford, 12 (24); Mercer, 7 (4); and Erie, 5 (13).

Southwest (228): Somerset, 64 (83); Fayette, 56 (85); Armstrong, 40 (35); Cambria, 25 (12); Westmoreland, 23 (24); Indiana, 19 (18); and Allegheny, 1 (0).

Northcentral (1,153): Lycoming, 237 (208); Clinton, 224 (149); Tioga, 136 (193); Centre, 110 (88); Clearfield, 110 (69); McKean, 89 (85); Cameron, 75 (76); Elk, 75 (73); Potter, 72 (107); and Union, 25 (29).

Northeast (510): Pike, 113 (79); Luzerne, 64 (45); Monroe, 58 (38); Bradford, 52 (57); Wayne, 50 (32); Sullivan, 40 (47); Carbon, 35 (29); Susquehanna, 26 (32); Wyoming, 26 (26); Lackawanna, 23 (14); Columbia, 19 (10); Northumberland, 3 (2); and Montour, 1 (0).

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