A full tally of bears taken in Warren County during the state's four-day regular season is not available yet, but preliminary numbers for the first three days are available.
A Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) statement issued on Nov. 21, the last day of the season, lists a count of 84 bears harvested in the county in the first three days, Nov. 17, 19 and 20.
Additional bears checked on Nov. 21, after the PGC release was made available, are not included in the tally.
Photo submitted for publication
A bear hunter checks in his kill (background) at a bear check station in Marienville. Members of the U.S. Forest Service partnered with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to staff a bear check station in Marienville last week during the statewide four-day bear season.
The PGC reports a three-day total across the state of 2,442 bears, which stands to increase when tallies for Nov. 21 are added. Total harvest for the 2011 regular season reached 3,023 bears over three days.
The top ten bears recorded in the first three days of the season all exceeded 540 pounds., with the largest bear recorded at the time tipping the scales with an estimated live weight of 706 pounds. The largest bear was taken in Pike County. The other nine top ten bears by weight were taken in Monroe, Potter, Clinton, Bedford, Huntingdon, Susquehanna and Perry counties, with two of the top ten being taken in McKean County.
Two PGC wildlife management units are included within the boundaries of Warren County, unit 1B in the east and unit 2F in the west. Over the first three days, 28 bear were taken in unit 1B, which also encompasses Erie, most of Crawford and part of Venango Counties. In that period, 260 bear were taken in unit 2F, which also includes Forest and parts of McKean, Venango, Clarion, Jefferson and Elk Counties.
Bear harvest age data for 2011 indicates a total bear harvest in Warren County of 96 animals. The largest bear taken last year was a six-year-old male with a listed actual dressed weight of 404 pounds.
Harvest age data for 2012 is also still unavailable. Some wildlife management units are permitted for an extended bear season. The latest day bear hunting is permitted anywhere in the state is Dec. 8.
"Pennsylvania's bear population covers more than three-quarters of the state, and includes a number of world-class trophy bears," PGC Executive Director Carl G. Roe said in a Nov. 2 press release announcing this year's season. "This has earned Pennsylvania recognition as one of the top states for bear hunters. Every year, we have a number of bears exceeding 500 pounds included in the harvest."
According to the PGC, "Since 1992, six bears with an estimated live weight of 800 pounds or more have been legally taken in Pennsylvania."
Bear had been taken in 51 counties across the state at the time of the three-day total release.