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11/26/2019

PRELIMINARY TWO-DAY BEAR HARVEST RESULTS

HARRISBURG, PA - After two days, 1,330 black bears have been harvested as part of Pennsylvania’s statewide four-day general bear season, according to preliminary totals released Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

This year’s two-day preliminary bear harvest compares to 1,622 bears taken during the statewide season’s first two days in 2018. In 2017, hunters took 1,310 bears over the same period. Through Monday, bears have been harvested in 51 counties during the statewide season.

Although the 2019 general season is off to a slightly slower start than last year’s, bears taken in the ongoing season raise the total Pennsylvania bear harvest to 3,205 when combined with harvests from a slate of earlier bear seasons including muzzleloader, special-firearms and archery. That total harvest, which will continue to increase, already tops the total 2018 statewide bear harvest of 3,153.

Expanded hunting opportunities provided by new special-firearms and muzzleloader bear seasons and an expanded archery bear season have helped push the 2019 bear harvest. Record bear license sales also have helped: license sales currently exceed 194,000; previously they have held at highs between 170,000 and 175,000. Add to that a statewide bear population of 20,000 and Pennsylvania finds itself with a chance to set a record bear harvest.

The state record bear harvest occurred in 2011, when 4,350 bears were taken.

One bear exceeding 600 pounds was taken on the 2019 general season’s second day, Nov. 25. The top 10 bears processed at check stations over the season’s first two days were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 525 pounds or more.

Through all 2019 bear seasons, the largest bear was taken on the opening day of ongoing general season. It was a massive male estimated at 813 pounds taken in Smithfield Township, Monroe County, by Victor M. Vassalluzzo, of Kintnersville. He took it with a rifle at 7:15 a.m.

The heaviest bear ever taken in Pennsylvania was an 875-pounder harvested in 2010 in Middle Smithfield Township, Pike County, in 2010. Since 1992, seven black bears weighing at least 800 pounds have been lawfully harvested in Pennsylvania hunting seasons.

The second-largest bear in the 2019 general bear season was a 747-pound male taken by J. Kripp Jr., of Mountaintop. Harvested in Wright Township, Luzerne County, at 7 a.m., the bear was taken with a rifle.

Other large bears taken in the season’s first two days – all taken with a rifle – include: a 696-pound male taken in Penn Forest Township, Carbon County, by Brian J. Borosh, of Jim Thorpe; a 657-pound male taken in Franklin Township, Columbia County, by Nicholas A. Podgurski, of Elysburg; a 656-pound male taken in Hanover Township, Luzerne County, by Dale J. Kobal, of Hunlock Creek; a 623-pound male taken in Beech Creek Township, Clinton County, by Mikael J. Catanese, of Sewickley; a 620-pound male taken in Miles Township, Centre County, by Reuben Kennel, of Turbotville; a 604-pound male taken in Gallagher Township, Clinton County, Steven Z. Rohrbach, of Lock Haven; a 593-pound male taken in Genesee Township, Potter County, by Timothy J. Peskie, of Uniontown; and a 526-pound male taken in Cromwell Township, Huntingdon County, by Matthew R. Miller, New Oxford.

The preliminary two-day bear harvest by Wildlife Management Unit was as follows: WMU 1A, 10 (16 in 2018); WMU 1B, 34 (91); WMU 2A, 2 (5); WMU 2C, 65 (105); WMU 2D, 78 (102); WMU 2E, 32 (53); WMU 2F, 155 (174); WMU 2G, 273 (298); WMU 2H, 45 (55); WMU 3A, 79 (86); WMU 3B, 122 (103); WMU 3C, 46 (39); WMU 3D, 145 (115); WMU 4A, 66 (112); WMU 4B, 29 (49); WMU 4C, 45 (69); WMU 4D, 84 (103); WMU 4E, 18 (44); WMU 5A, 1 (3) and WMU 5C, 1 (0).

The top bear-hunting county in the state over the first two days of the season was Tioga County with 100 bears. It was followed by Lycoming County with 98 bears.

Two-day preliminary harvests by county and region are:

Northwest (188): Warren, 53 (46); Venango, 27 (65); Clarion, 25 (33); Forest, 24 (45); Jefferson, 23 (59); Crawford, 16 (43); Butler, 15 (15); Mercer, 4 (11); and Erie, 1 (14).

Southwest (102): Somerset, 33 (51); Armstrong, 26 (21); Indiana, 19 (28); Fayette, 13 (32); Cambria, 7 (13); and Westmoreland, 4 (7).

Northcentral (565): Tioga, 100 (71); Lycoming, 98 (87); Clinton, 75 (102); Potter, 70 (48); McKean, 55 (38); Elk, 48 (39); Clearfield, 47 (69); Centre, 30 (40); Cameron, 29 (54); and Union, 13 (13).

Southcentral (140): Huntingdon, 44 (70); Bedford, 30 (50); Fulton, 15 (32); Perry, 15 (13); Blair, 14 (17); Juniata, 8 (15); Mifflin, 6 (10); Franklin, 5 (14); Cumberland, 2 (1); and Adams, 1 (3).

Northeast (304): Pike, 58 (38); Monroe, 42 (36); Luzerne, 33 (40); Bradford, 30 (43); Wayne, 29 (26); Sullivan, 25 (24); Susquehanna, 24 (7); Lackawanna, 17 (12); Wyoming, 17 (24); Carbon, 14 (19); Columbia, 11 (16); and Northumberland, 4 (15).

Southeast (31): Dauphin, 13 (25); Schuylkill, 11 (13); Berks, 6 (1); and Lebanon, 1 (5)

MEDIA CONTACT: Travis Lau - 717-705-6541

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