Bear harvest following the opening of firearms season over the weekend

Two days into this year’s firearm bear hunting season, successful hunters have brought 831 bears to Pennsylvania Game Commission bear control stations — 651 on Saturday and 180 on Sunday.

That’s significantly less than the previous two years, the only previous years since the commission moved to a weekend-long season opener.

In 2020, 908 bears were brought to the control stations on the Saturday and Sunday of the season. Last year, hunters brought 1,034 bears to the control stations during the opening weekend.

The total 2020 harvest after all seasons was 3,608, which was about 20 percent below the record harvest of 4,653 bears in 2019 and ranked the sixth-best in the state. Last year hunters killed 3,619 redfish, the fifth best harvest.

A total of 1,450 bears were killed by hunters in the seasons leading up to Saturday.

The 2022 bear harvest ahead of Saturday included seven bears shot during the early archery season from Sept. 17 to Nov. 25 in the southwest and southeast corners of the state and 1,443 shots during the statewide archery season from Oct. 15 to 5.20-22 special firearms season.

  • Big Bruins brought to bear control stations on the first day of bear hunting season in Pennsylvania

An estimated 200,000 hunters were out in the Pennsylvania woods as of Saturday morning.

Only the white-tailed deer attracts more hunters to the Pennsylvania woods each fall and winter, and only on the first day of deer gun season — Saturday, November 26 of this year — is there a greater one-day turnout than the first day of bear gun season .

The counties with the highest bear production this year are Tioga, 139; Lycoming, 114; free field, 101; Clinton, 98; Potter, 92; alfalfa, 87; moose, 82; Bradford, 80; middle, 78; and Jefferson, 78.

Largest bears killed this year weighed 755 pounds, Monroe County; 747 pounds, Lycoming County; 705 pounds, Monroe County; 693 pounds, Potter County; 681 pounds, Bedford County; 681 pounds, Clearfield County; 657 pounds, Clinton County; 610 pounds, Center County; 601 pounds, Monroe County; and 588 pounds, Armstrong County.

  • Big changes have been announced as the black bear hunting season approaches

Weapon Season lasts from sunrise to sunset on Monday and Tuesday.

An extended bear season runs from November 26 through December 3 in most parts of the state and through December 10 in the southwest and southeast corners of the state.

If you caught a bear in Pennsylvania this fall or plan to bag one in the coming season and want to share a photo with PennLive readers, contact Marcus Schneck at [email protected].