The results of the first three days of bear hunting season are in and the numbers show a decrease of about eight percent compared to the first three days of the 2015 season,
Hunters took a three-day total of 2,308 bears compared to 2,487 taken in 2015. These figures, however, do not include the archery and early bear seasons. Those totals are yet to be tallied.
So far this season, bears were harvested in 53 counties. The largest so far was a male with an estimated weight of 700 pounds. It was shot by Chad Nauman of Cresco, Pa, at about 7 a.m. on opening day in Barrett Township, Monroe County. This bear was joined the state’s top 10.
Other big bears include a 649-pound male downed by Gregory Fuller of Williamsport, Pa, on Tuesday in Armstrong Township, Lycoming County; a 666-pound male shot on Monday in Leidy Township, Clinton County by Ryan Grieb, of Leesport, Pa; a 662-pound male shot Monday in Homer Township, Potter County, by Grant Ruhl of Lebanon, Pa; a 642-pound male on Saturday in Sterling Township, Wayne County, by Randy Elders of Greentown, Pa; a 635-pound male on Monday in Hebron Township, Potter County, by Andrew Tiffany of Athens, Pa; a 622-pound male Saturday in Porter Township, Pike County, by Joseph M. Skutches Jr, of Nazareth, Pa; a 621-pound male on Saturday in Tionesta Township, Forest County, by Ronald Reitlinger, of Cranberry Township, Pa; 621-pound male on Monday in Briar Creek Township, Columbia County, by Kerry Lauer, of Berwick, Pa; and a 616-pound male on Saturday in Tuscarora Township, Juniata County, by Aaron Zimmerman of Port Royal, Pa.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, last seasons total harvest of 3,748 was the third largest in state history, but pales in comparison to the largest of 4,350 in 2011.
The top bear hunting county in the state after three days was Clinton with 179 bears. This beat always top producing Lycoming County whose three-day total was 156.
Here in the Southeast a three-day harvest of 346 bears were taken in the following counties: Dauphin, 21; Schuylkill, 16; Lebanon, 7; Lehigh, 0; Berks, 1; and Northampton, 1.
In the Northeast, the three-day total was 389 in the following: Luzerne, 62; Pike, 50; Monroe 46; Wayne, 40; Bradford, 39; Sullivan, 37; Lackawanna, 25; Susquehanna, 24; Carbon, 22; Wyoming, 22; Columbia, 20; Montour, 1; and Northumberland, 1.
If you’re interested in the harvest by Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) it was: 1A, 27; 1B, 99; 2A, 1; 2B, 0; 2C, 192; 2D, 79; 2E, 54; 2F, 276; 2G, 515; 2H, 92; 3A, 144; 3B, 165; 3C, 56; 3D, 167; 4A, 108; 4B, 69; 4C, 64; 4D, 158; 4E, 40; 5A, 1; 5C, 1.
The season is still open until Dec. 10 in WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D. And until Dec. 3 in WMUs 3B, 3C and 3D. Starting on Nov. 30 until Dec. 3 in WMUs 1B, 2C, 4B, 4D and 4E.
We’ll have a complete roundup once all the harvest numbers are in from all the seasons.
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.