PGC releases bear harvest numbers

The second largest bear taken in the first three days of the four-day statewide black bear season was harvested in Warren County.

According to Pennsylvania Game Commission preliminary results published Wednesday, James Langdon of Wattsburg, killed the 691-pound bear with a rifle Tuesday in Cherry Grove Township.

It was the heaviest bear taken after the first day.

The heaviest bear taken in the first three days was estimated at 700 pounds, an opening-day kill in Venango County by Chad Wagner of Titusville.

The top 10 bears brought to check stations by Wednesday were all at least 569 pounds.

The game commission said hunters had taken bears in 54 counties in the first three days of the season.

At that time, hunters in Warren County had killed 79 bears, highest in the northwest region and the sixth highest total for any county in the state. Lycoming County had the highest harvest at 120 bears and all of the top four counties were in the northcentral region.

Portions of Warren County fall into two wildlife management units (WMU). A total of 53 bears were taken in WMU 1B, and 182 were taken in WMU 2F.

The preliminary indications are that the harvest will fall well short of the last two years — the fifth and third highest harvest in state history. This year, Pennsylvania hunters harvested 1,628 bear. Hunters took 3,529 bears in 2016 and 3,748 bears were taken in 2015.

Part of the decline this year was attributed to wide-spread rain on opening day.

The largest harvest was in 2011, when hunters took 4,350 bears. The three-day harvest number that year was 2,709.

Archery and other early-bear season harvest data was not included in the three-day report.