HARRISBURG -- Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe reported that the final bear harvest results from the state‚??s recently concluded seasons show that hunters harvested 3,632 bears, which ranks as the third highest in Pennsylvania history.
The record bear harvest was set in 2011, when hunters took 4,350 bears. In 2005, hunters harvested 4,162 bears, which was the second highest in history.
The final harvest tallies by season are: 13 in the new, early seasons in Wildlife Management Units 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D; 262 bears taken during the statewide, five-day archery bear season; 2,685 bears taken during the four-day bear season, which included a Saturday-opener; and 672 bears taken during the extended bear season held in various WMUs during all or portions of the first week of the deer season.
Other recent bear harvests include: 3,090 in 2010; 3,512 in 2009; 3,458 in 2008; 2,362 in 2007; 3,124 in 2006; 2,976 in 2004; 3,000 in 2003; 2,686 in 2002; 3,063 in 2001; 3,075 in 2000; 1,740 in 1999; and 2,598 in 1998.
Bears were harvested in 56 of the state‚??s 67 counties; which also marked a record for the number of counties included. The top five bear harvest counties this year, once again, all come from the Northcentral Region: Lycoming, 341 (336 taken in 2011); Clinton, 265 (205); Tioga, 227 (381); Potter 179 (399); and Centre, 143 (129).
According to final reports, 45 bears weighing 500 pounds or more were legally harvested during the four seasons, and 5 bears surpassed the 600 pound mark. The top 10 bears processed at check stations all had estimated live weights that exceeded 561 pounds. Joseph A. Spano, of East Stoudsburg, has harvested the largest bear. Taken Nov. 21, in Middle Smithfield Township, Monroe County, the male bear weighed an actual live weight of 709 pounds.