Sunday, February 15, 2015

2014 Bear Harvest!

Pennsylvania Bear Harvest Impressive Again In 2014

With the totals now official, the top seven harvests in state history all have occurred in the past decade.


          It’s official: The trend of recent bear seasons taking their place in the Pennsylvania record books continues.

          Pennsylvania hunters harvested a total of 3,366 bears in 2014, the seventh-highest tally in state history, the Pennsylvania Game Commission reported today.


          With 2014 totals now official, the seven largest bear harvests all have occurred in the past decade.


          The all-time high was recorded in 2011, when 4,350 bears were harvested. Hunters harvested 3,510 bears in 2013 – the third-largest harvest on record.


          Hunters in 2014 harvested bears in 56 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, an increase compared to 2013, when bears were taken in 53 counties. Likewise, bears were taken in 21 of the state’s 23 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs), which also is an increase compared to 2013, when bears were taken in 20 WMUs.


          Forty-one bears harvested by hunters in 2014 weighed 500 pounds or more.


          The heaviest bear in the harvest, taken in Pittsfield Township, Warren County, by James M. Hultberg, of Pittsfield, weighed an estimated 677 pounds.
          Two other bears topped the 600-pound mark.


          Leon J. Graham, of Morris, harvested a 630-pounder in Pine Township, Lycoming County during the bear archery season, and Fred F. Stoltzfus, of Lewisburg, took a 623-pound bear in West Buffalo Township, Union County, while hunting in the general season.


          The remaining bears on the list of the 10 heaviest from 2014 include: a 598-pounder harvested in Muddy Creek Township , Butler County, by Jeffrey McClymonds, of Slippery Rock, during the general season; a 597-pounder taken in Delmar Township, Tioga County by John L. Thrush, of Boiling Springs, during the general season; a 596-pounder harvested in Forks Township, Sullivan County, by Gary L. Heinsey, of Denver, during the extended season; a 584-pounder taken in Washington Township, Jefferson County, by Daniel J. Whaling, of Falls Creek, during the bear archery season; a 579-pounder taken in Armstrong Township, Indiana County by Gabriel J. Heckman, of Shelocta, during the general season; a 574-pounder harvested in Tyrone Township, Blair County, by Ray E. Golden Jr., of Tyrone, during the general season; and a 561-pounder taken in Sugarcreek Township, Venango County, by Heath M. Bromley, of Oil City, during the bear archery season. 


          Lycoming County, perennially among the top counties for bear harvests again led the way with 286 harvests in 2014, up from 234 the previous year. Among other top counties for bear harvests in 2014 were: Tioga, 274 (286 in 2013); Clinton, 179 (133); Potter 157 (196); and Centre, 117 (96).


          The four-day general season again set the pace for the overall harvest, with 2,447 bears being taken during that season. But the extended seasons and the archery bear season also contributed to the totals. 


          Statewide, 740 bears were harvested in extended seasons while 170 were taken during the archery bear season. 


          Tioga County claimed the highest harvest in extended seasons, with 71 bears taken after the close of the general statewide bear season. Other top counties, and their harvest totals during the extended seasons, were: Lycoming, 59; Wayne, 52; Bradford, 49; and Potter, 46. 


          Final county harvests by region (with 2013 figures in parentheses) are:


          Northwest – 394: Warren, 100 (148); Venango, 71 (70); Jefferson, 56 (70); Clarion, 54 (59);  Forest, 41 (50); Butler, 28 (24); Crawford, 26 (36); Erie, 13 (6); and Mercer, 5 (3). 


         
Southwest – 311: Somerset, 108 (106); Fayette, 103 (67); Armstrong, 35 (43); Westmoreland, 29 (41); Indiana, 19 (49); Cambria, 15 (26); and Allegheny, 2 (3). 


         
Northcentral – 1,382: Lycoming, 286 (234); Tioga, 274 (286); Clinton, 179 (133); Potter 157 (196); Centre, 117 (96); McKean, 100 (108); Elk, 79 (103); Cameron, 76 (108); Clearfield, 72 (125); and Union, 42 (41).


         
Southcentral – 390: Huntingdon, 88 (67); Bedford, 70 (55); Perry, 55 (16); Mifflin, 42 (31); Blair, 41 (29); Fulton, 28 (19); Juniata, 28 (28); Franklin, 19 (9); Snyder, 14 (18); Cumberland, 4 (1); and Adams, 1 (0). 


         
Northeast – 794: Pike, 111 (150); Bradford, 108 (96); Wayne, 87 (127); Monroe, 79 (79); Sullivan, 76 (105); Luzerne, 74 (98); Susquehanna, 74 (56); Wyoming, 55 (66); Lackawanna, 51 (48); Carbon, 47 (57); Columbia, 23 (24); Northumberland, 8 (14); and Montour, 1 (0). 


         
Southeast – 95: Schuylkill, 39 (35); Dauphin, 35 (23); Northampton, 9 (18); Berks, 6 (4); Lehigh 4 (0); and Lebanon, 2 (7).


         
The final bear harvests by Wildlife Management Unit (with final 2013 figures in parentheses) were: WMU 1A, 12 (16); WMU 1B, 90 (94); WMU 2A, 1 (0) WMU 2B, 3 (4); WMU 2C, 290 (247); WMU 2D, 148 (171); WMU 2E, 48 (93); WMU 2F, 262 (309); WMU 2G, 622 (575); WMU 2H, 68 (87); WMU 3A, 286 (362); WMU 3B, 366 (364); WMU 3C, 168 (196); WMU 3D, 296 (393); WMU 4A, 106 (80); WMU 4B, 141 (67); WMU 4C, 120 (93); WMU 4D, 260 (275); WMU 4E, 63 (68); WMU 5A, 4 (0); WMU 5B, 0 (1); and WMU 5C, 12 (16).


          Impressive as the 2014 bear harvest is, it’s worth noting the potential for an even bigger harvest certainly was. 


          A record number of hunters – 173,523 – bought Pennsylvania bear licenses in 2014. The previous record – 167,438 – was set in 2013. It also was a bumper year for mast crops throughout much of the state’s core bear-hunting area. 


          When little food is available, bears tend to enter dens early. But in years when food is abundant, they remain more active during hunting seasons. 


          But the weather was less than ideal through portions of the bear seasons. The archery season was much colder, and wetter, than it had been in years. Still, 170 bears were taken during the statewide archery season, but the total was down slightly from 2013 when 197 were harvested.


          The 2014 general season began on a high note, with the opening day harvest up 21 percent compared to 2013. And that increase came despite an ice storm that affected hunters throughout northcentral Pennsylvania during the afternoon of the opening day.
          The weather would continue to have an impact on the general season, and the Monday harvest was down 40 percent compared to 2013. 


Still, it’s difficult to consider the seventh-largest harvest on record anything but a success.
          And the prospects for the trend to continue again next year already are good, said Mark Ternent, the Game Commission’s bear biologist. 


          The statewide bear population has remained stable over the past seven years now, with the population estimated most recently at 18,100 bears, Ternent said. Interest in bear hunting has remained high, as verified by license sales. And the opportunities to hunt bears are as plentiful as ever.


          “It’s always difficult to predict exactly how good bear hunting will be in a given year,” Ternent said. “But it clear we’ve had several banner years in the past decade, and there’s nothing to indicate fantastic bear hunting won’t continue in 2015 and beyond.”


What a decade for bear hunting
The 2014 Pennsylvania bear harvest, the seventh-largest in state history, joined other recent seasons near the top of the record books. With the totals now official, the seven top harvests all have occurred in the last decade. Here’s a look:
Top Pennsylvania bear harvests
1.      4,350 – 2011
2.      4,164 – 2005
3.      3,623 – 2012
4.      3,512 – 2009
5.      3,510 – 2013
6.      3,458 – 2008

7.      3,366 – 2014

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Submit your favorite photo!

                   Send us your favorite PA hunting moment! Click here for more details.
 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

March ,2015 Hunter-Trapper Education

Pennsylvania Hunter-Trapper Education

 
Register Now

Location & Schedule                         

Meeting on:

Date Time
Saturday, March 28, 2015 8:00am - 4:00pm

Located at:

Springdale District Sportsmen's Assoc.  
2181 Butler Logan Road
Tarentum, PA 15084


Cancellation Policies

You must cancel your registration before Saturday, March 28, 2015, at 8:00am.

Minimum-Age Policy

All registrants for this event must be 11 years of age by March 28, 2015.

Instructed by:

STEVEN R ALLIAS

This is a six-hour training class required by law for all first-time hunters and trappers before they can buy a license. You must pass a certification exam at the end of the class to complete this training.
Important In order to prepare for your class, read Chapters 1, 4, 5 and 9 located at Today's Hunter & Trapper in PA.


NOTE: You must be at least 11 years of age to register for this class!