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Pennsylvania 2011 bear harvest ranks second highest

From Pennsylvania Game Commission

-- Preliminary bear harvest results from the state's three recently concluded seasons show hunters harvested 3,968 bears, which would rank the total harvest as the second highest in Pennsylvania history.

The preliminary breakdown of harvest by season is 257 bears taken during the statewide, five-day archery bear season; 3,154 bears taken during the four-day bear season, which included a Saturday-opener; and 557 bears taken during the extended bear season held in various Wildlife Management Units during all or portions of the first week of the deer season.

Official total bear harvest figures won't be available until early 2012, after a detailed review of each harvest report is completed. Preliminary bear harvest totals do change occasionally by a few bears.

In the 2005 bear season, hunters harvested a record 4,164 bears. The harvest record was set in a three-day statewide season and a six-day extended bear season in five WMUs.

Bears were harvested in 54 of the state's 67 counties. The top five bear harvest counties this year all come from the North central Region. The top county was Tioga, with 343 (183 in 2010); followed by Potter, 327 (148); Lycoming, 291 (228); McKean, 246 (92); and Clinton 198 (248).

According to preliminary reports, 81 bears weighing 500 pounds or more were legally harvested during the three seasons. The top 10 bears processed at check stations all had estimated live weights that exceeded 678 pounds.

Joseph C. Colyer, of Pocono Lake, harvested the largest bear, a male that weighed 767 pounds (estimated live weight). The bear was taken in Tobyhanna, Monroe County, at 6:50 a.m. on Nov. 16, with a crossbow during the archery bear season.

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