Pennsylvania’s bear harvests figures are in for “day three” of the four-day season, when 2, 442 bears were taken. This is a bit short of the 3,023 that were shot last season. But these are preliminary figures with a final total forthcoming.
The largest bear taken so far is a 706-pound male (estimated live weight) by James R. Weisbrod of Quakertown. The Bucks County hunter shot his heavy bruin on Nov. 20, in Greene Township, Pike County.
But as predicted, the top 10 bears so far all had estimated live weights that exceeded 548 pounds. Other hefty bears checked included: a 699-pound male taken by William M. Rising of Indiana, in Hamlin Township, McKean County on Nov. 19; a 652-pound (actual live weight) male shot by Tim J. Moffett of Barto in Middle Smithfield Township, Monroe County on Nov. 17; a 620-pound male taken by Robert A. Pitts, of Meadville in Roulette Twp., Potter County on Nov. 17; 586-pound male shot by Brian Stuebgen, of Renfrew in Sergeant Twp., McKean County on Nov. 19; a 576-pound male by Dana L. Landis, of Chambersburg in Southampton Twp., Bedford County on Nov. 19; 562-pound male by Bryan L. Leabhart of Dudley, in Carbon Twp.., Huntingdon County on Nov. 19; 559-pound male by Clayton L. Dulaney, of Towanda, in Auburn Twp., Susquehanna County on Nov. 17; and 557-pound male taken by Barry Zimmerman of Loysville, in South West Madison Twp., Perry County on Nov. 20.
After the three days, the top harvest occurred in Lycoming County with 239 bears followed by Clinton with 217; Tioga with 136; Potter with 103; and Centre with 94.
Here in the Southeast Region, Dauphin had 24; Schuylkill, 15; Berks, 2; Northampton, 2; and our own Lehigh County, 1.
Since hunters will unfilled bear tags can participate in the extended bear season that runs concurrent with all or part of the first week of the firearms deer season, these harvest figures could increase. That, plus hunters can still buy a bear tag until Nov. 25.
DCNR OPENS 400 MILES OF ROADS FOR HUNTING
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry has opened over 400 miles of state forest roads that are normally closed to hunters in 18 of 20 state forest districts across the state. This gives sportsmen additional hunting opportunities on land that hasn’t been traipsed over by a myriad of hunters.
According to Terry Brady, DCNR press secretary, more than 90 percent of all state forestland will now be within one-half mile of an open road during deer season.
Brady suggested hunters call district offices before leaving home since access to these roads is determined by local weather and road conditions. There’s also inexpensive camping is available.
Successful hunters who posses a DMAP tag from DCNR and who present them to meat processors involved in the “Hunters Sharing the Harvest” program will not be charged a fee. Other hunters, when donating their entire deer, are asked to make at least a $15 tax-deductible contribution to help cover processing costs.
PF&BC OFFERING MULTI-YEAR LICENSES
In an effort to raise much needed funds to avoid a fishing license fee increase, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission will debut new 3-year and 5-year fishing licenses beginning Dec. 1.
The new multi-year licenses will also come with incentives. The PF&BC is offering multi-year license buyers a free online subscription to Pennsylvania Angler/Boater magazine along with offers from popular retailers that include various pieces of fishing equipment and several discount coupons that can be used at sporting goods stores.
Multi-year license buyers will also save some money by not having to pay transaction fees each year. The PF&BC says that for a customer who buys a 5-year license, they can save $6.80, enough to buy some PowerBait or other lures. And anglers who buy multi-year trout/salmon, Lake Erie and combo permits will experience similar savings.
Customers who buy theses new licenses through either the PFBC online Outdoor Shop (www.pawildlifelicese.com) or from an issuing agent, will receive a website link to claim their rewards.
Also on Dec. 1, the agency is launching a fishing sweepstakes contest to give away a series of fishing trips across the state for many of the state’s popular game fish. The general public will also be eligible to participate in this contest with registration being found at www.gonefishingpa.com.
To automatically receive outdoor news and views from Nick Hromiak, click on the “Subscribe” notation on this page.