Pennsylvania 2011 Harvest Sets RecordPennsylvania Game Commission, Bear Hunting Magazine
Pennsylvania game officials released their final harvest numbers for bears taken in 2011, and it ended up being a record for bear hunting of 4,350 bears being harvested.
The Commission stated that the two biggest factors with the record harvest being made was the larger bear population (estimated at between 18,000 and 20,000 in PA) and more hunters are receiving licenses to hunt them than ever before.
Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director had announced back in December a preliminary harvest of 3,968 (see our News Flash regarding that news release here ), but that figure did not include complete reports from all check stations.
“Preliminary harvest reports are just that; preliminary,” stated Cal DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director. “Rounding up and sifting through 28 boxes of returning check station supplies takes time. The process involves physically connecting the 50 hand-held electronic devices to a computer, one device at a time, and manually reviewing each report and comparing it with the database to see if there are any discrepancies with the printed reports and envelopes with bear teeth extracted at the site.”
The final harvest tallies by season is: 304 bears taken during the statewide, five-day archery bear season; 3,168 bears taken during the four-day bear season, which included a Saturday-opener; and 878 bears taken during the extended bear season held in various Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) during all or portions of the first week of the deer season.
The final bear harvests by Wildlife Management Unit (with final 2010 figures in parentheses) were: WMU 1A, 13 (11); WMU 1B, 64 (42); WMU 2A, 0 (1); WMU 2B, 1 (0): WMU 2C, 226 (307); WMU 2D, 150 (146); WMU 2E, 79 (94); WMU 2F, 345 (202); WMU 2G, 1,086 (894); WMU 3A, 564 (199); WMU 3B, 479 (234); WMU 3C, 299 (118); WMU 3D, 318 (284); WMU 4A, 72 (135); WMU 4B, 70 (55); WMU 4C, 148 (90); WMU 4D, 355 (245); WMU 4E, 79 (31); WMU 5A, 1 (0); and WMU 5C, 1 (2).
Bears were harvested in 54 of the state’s 67 counties. The top five bear harvest counties this year, once again, all come from the north-central region. However, the final numbers caused a shifting in the order of counties in that list, as well as in several region rankings. After all reports were reviewed, Potter was propelled into the top spot with 399 bears harvested (148 in 2010); followed by Tioga, 381 (184); Lycoming, 336 (230); McKean, 258 (92); and Clinton 205 (250).
According to the final report, 88 bears weighing 500 pounds or more were legally harvested during the three seasons, and 25 bears surpassed the 600 pound mark. The top 10 bears processed at check stations all had estimated live weights that exceeded 678 pounds.