HARRISBURG – The first day of Pennsylvania’s statewide bear season resulted in a harvest of 1,297 black bears, according to preliminary totals released Monday by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Archery and other early bear season harvest data still is being entered into the Game Commission’s database, and is not available at this time.
Bears have been harvested in 51 counties during the statewide season so far, according to the game commission.
The top 10 bears processed at check stations by Monday were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 550 pounds or more.
The largest of those bears – a male estimated at 700 pounds – was taken in Barrett Township, Monroe County, by Chad D. Nauman of Cresco. He took it with a rifle at about 7 a.m. on Nov. 19, the season’s opening day.
Two other bears harvested in the region were among some of the largest.
They included a 621-pound male taken in Tionesta Township, Forest County, by Ronald J. Reitlinger, of Cranberry Township and a 610-pound male taken in Scrubgrass Township, Venango County, by John J. Ippolito of Gibsonia.
The 2016 first-day preliminary harvest is a decrease compared to 1,508 bears taken during the 2015 opener. Hunters in 2014 harvested 1,623 bears on the opening day.
Opening-day harvests in the Northwest region included a total of 176 bears – 41 in Warren, 38 in Forest, 35 in Venango, 29 in Jefferson, 19 in Clarion, eight in Crawford, five in Butler, one in Erie and none in Mercer.