Judging from what I saw during a recent visit to Bob Danenhower’s Wildlife Taxidermy Shop in Orefield, it appears the minimum antlered deer point regulation that former Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) bear, then deer biologist Gary Alt put in place some years ago, is working.
What I saw was proof that the point regulation has resulted in the overwhelming majority of deer antlers Danenhower got it to mount were 8s and 10s. Just a year or two ago, most of the racks brought in were 6s and 8s. And Danenhower says he’s receiving substantially more deer to mount than previous years. It appears avid deer hunters are hunting smarter and being selective.
But the more interesting and unique pre-mounts I saw were the pelts of two cinnamon bears. One taken with a crossbow in the Kempton area while the other was shot in the Leaser Lake area during the bear hunting seasons. Both had approximate live weights of 150 pounds and Danenhower thinks they could have been brothers since the Blue Mountain ridge runs from Berks to Lehigh County.
Said Danenhower, “In my 35 years in the taxidermy business, I never got in a Pennsylvania cinnamon bear. And now, I got two, one of which has a nice and pronounced white “V” on its neck.” Both are going to be full mounts, so the lucky sportsmen will have trophies to admire year-round, and ones that are somewhat rare in Pennsylvania.
You may ask what is a cinnamon bear? According to the PGC, a cinnamon bear is not a subspecies of a black bear but merely that it has a reddish-brown coat from which its name is derived. In other parts of its range, bears may be brown, whitish, or bluish-gray, but the majority are black. The various color morphs can be frequently intermixed in the same family; hence, seeing either a black-colored female with brown or red cubs, a brown-colored female with black or red-brown cubs, or a female of any of the three colors with a black cub, a brown cub and a red-brown cub.
Cinnamon bears have the same diet as black bears and includes fruit, vegetation, nuts, honey, and occasionally insects and meat. They are said to be excellent climbers, good runners and powerful swimmers. And like their fellow black bears, they hibernate from late October or November to March or April, depending on the weather. They are just a color phase.
LATE PHEASANT STOCKING
The PGC will stock over 41,000 pheasants statewide for the late small game season that got underway Dec. 13-24 and which reopens again Dec. 27-Feb. 28.
Here in the Southeast Region, there will be 5,590 male and 2,050 females stocked, mostly on state game lands and state parks. The PGC says that despite the dates, there is a two-four day window within the counties to be stocked. The agency says putting out the approximate dates takes some of the guesswork out of deciding when to go hunting and offers insurance that hunters will have improved opportunities.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.