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The 2018 Pennsylvania preliminary bear harvest is up 10 percent compared to the previous year, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Hunters during the final day of Pennsylvania’s four-day statewide bear season harvested 365 bears, raising the 2018 statewide season harvest to 1,993, compared to the 1,796 taken during the four days of the statewide season in 2017.

Hunters took more bears on the season’s last day than on the third day, when 211 bears were harvested. On the season’s second day, hunters took 381 bears.

Archery and other early-bear season harvest data are not included in this report. Comprehensive bear harvest totals that include bears taken during the early and extended seasons will be released in the coming months.

During the statewide season, bears were harvested in 55 counties.

The top 10 bears processed at check stations were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 600 pounds or more.

The largest bear harvested was a 780-pound male taken with a rifle Nov. 19 by Michael J. Rubeo, of Mercer, in Howe Township, Forest County.

A day later, a 708-pound male was taken by Timothy J. Weaver, of Dallas, Pa., with a rifle in Harvey’s Lake Borough, Luzerne County.

In addition, a 704-pound male was taken Nov. 17 in Goshen Township, Clearfield County, by Mickey L. Moore, of Clearfield.

More bears are yet to be taken in extended seasons in many Wildlife Management Units. The overall 2017 bear harvest was 3,438, the ninth-largest in state history. In 2016, hunters took a total of 3,529 bears — the fifth-largest harvest all time. The largest harvest — 4,350 bears — happened in 2011, when preliminary statewide season totals numbered 3,154.

The top bear-hunting county in the statewide season was Clinton County with 128 bears. It was followed by Lycoming County, which almost annually challenges Clinton County for the state’s top county bear harvest.

Statewide season harvests by county and region are:

Northwest (411): Venango, 78 (43); Jefferson, 69 (48); Crawford, 59 (22); Warren, 59 (84); Forest, 55 (31); Clarion, 41 (34); Butler, 19 (12); Erie, 18 (6); and Mercer, 13 (6).

Southwest (183): Somerset, 57 (42); Fayette, 39 (27); Indiana, 31 (8); Armstrong, 26 (31); Cambria, 16 (8); and Westmoreland, 14 (10).

Northcentral (689): Clinton, 128 (115); Lycoming, 107 (130); Tioga, 90 (127); Clearfield, 80 (51); Potter, 62 (118); Cameron, 61 (42); Centre, 52 (34); Elk, 47 (64); McKean, 47 (62); and Union, 15 (11).

Southcentral (255): Huntingdon, 78 (46); Bedford, 54 (33); Fulton, 35 (21); Blair, 22 (8); Juniata, 16 (11); Franklin, 14 (9); Perry, 14 (12); Mifflin, 10 (13); Adams, 5 (3); Cumberland, 4 (4); and Snyder, 3 (2).

Northeast (395): Luzerne, 53 (36); Pike, 51 (94); Bradford, 50 (28); Monroe, 50 (36); Sullivan, 32 (63); Carbon, 31 (25); Wayne, 30 (60); Wyoming, 27 (30); Columbia, 20 (10); Lackawanna, 20 (27); Northumberland, 17 (3); Susquehanna, 13 (20); and Montour, 1 (1).

Southeast (60): Dauphin, 26 (15); Schuylkill, 20 (7); Lebanon, 7 (2); Lehigh, 3 (0); Northampton, 3 (2); and Berks, 1 (4).

Information for this story was provided by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

 

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