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Pennsylvania 2011 final bear harvest sets new record

From Pennsylvania Game Commission

-- The final bear harvest results from the state’s three recently concluded seasons show hunters harvested 4,350 bears, setting a new record, the highest in Pennsylvania history.

On Dec. 5, preliminary harvest of 3,968 was announced, but that figure did not include complete reports from all check stations.

“Rounding up and sifting through 28 boxes of returning check station supplies takes time,” said Cal DuBrock, Bureau of Wildlife Management director. “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 discrepancies with the printed reports and envelopes with bear teeth extracted at the site.”

The final harvest by season tallies 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 WMUs during all or portions of the first week of the deer season.

In the 2005 bear season, hunters harvested 4,164 bears, which stood as the record harvest until 2011. The harvest record was set in a three-day statewide season and a six-day extended bear season in five WMUs.

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 54 of the state’s 67 counties.  The top five bear harvest counties this year, once again, all come from the Northcentral 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).

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