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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2012 FINAL BEAR HARVEST RANKS THIRD OVERALL

2012 FINAL BEAR HARVEST RANKS THIRD OVERALL

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that the final bear harvest results from the state’s recently concluded seasons show that hunters harvested 3,632 bears, which ranks as the third highest in Pennsylvania history.

The record bear harvest was set in 2011, when hunters took 4,350 bears. In 2005, hunters harvested 4,162 bears, which was the second highest in history.

The final harvest tallies by season are: 13 in the new, early seasons in Wildlife Management Units 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D; 262 bears taken during the statewide, five-day archery bear season; 2,685 bears taken during the four-day bear season, which included a Saturday-opener; and 672 bears taken during the extended bear season held in various WMUs during all or portions of the first week of the deer season.

In the 2005 bear season, hunters harvested 4,164 bears, and stood as the record harvest until 2011.

Other recent bear harvests include: 3,090 in 2010; 3,512 in 2009; 3,458 in 2008; 2,362 in 2007; 3,124 in 2006; 2,976 in 2004; 3,000 in 2003; 2,686 in 2002; 3,063 in 2001; 3,075 in 2000; 1,740 in 1999; and 2,598 in 1998.

The final bear harvests by Wildlife Management Unit (with final 2011 figures in parentheses) were: WMU 1A, 4 (13); WMU 1B, 38 (64); WMU 2B, 6 (1): WMU 2C, 268 (226); WMU 2D, 162 (150); WMU 2E, 50 (79); WMU 2F, 285 (345); WMU 2G, 829 (1,086); WMU 3A, 342 (564); WMU 3B, 279 (479); WMU 3C, 146 (299); WMU 3D, 305 (318); WMU 4A, 139 (72); WMU 4B, 84 (70); WMU 4C, 163 (148); WMU 4D, 403 (355); WMU 4E, 110 (79); WMU 5A, 1 (1); WMU 5B, 2 (0); and WMU 5C, 16 (1).

Bears were harvested in 56 of the state’s 67 counties; which also marked a record for the number of counties included. The top five bear harvest counties this year, once again, all come from the Northcentral Region: Lycoming, 341 (336 taken in 2011); Clinton, 265 (205); Tioga, 227 (381); Potter 179 (399); and Centre, 143 (129).

Final county harvests by region (with 2011 figures in parentheses) are:

Northwest: Warren, 94 (119); Clarion, 77 (47); Venango, 62 (56); Forest, 56 (90); Jefferson, 51 (45); Butler, 11 (9); Erie, 7 (7); Crawford, 6 (16); and Mercer, 1 (6).

Southwest: Somerset, 94 (75); Fayette, 79 (67); Westmoreland, 37 (24); Armstrong, 35 (66); Indiana, 24 (33); Cambria, 11 (35); and Allegheny, 4 (1).

Northcentral: Lycoming, 341 (336); Clinton, 265 (205); Tioga, 227 (381); Potter 179 (399); Centre, 143 (129); McKean, 134 (258); Clearfield, 102 (154); Union, 82 (49); Elk, 76 (153); and Cameron, 67 (100).

Southcentral: Huntingdon, 125 (73); Bedford, 86 (44); Mifflin, 62 (48); Blair, 50 (32); Juniata, 37 (33); Perry, 32 (13); Fulton, 25 (15); Franklin, 14 (13); Snyder, 14 (29); Adams, 2 (0); and Cumberland, 2 (4).

Northeast: Pike, 108 (116); Monroe, 102 (88); Luzerne, 100 (99); Bradford, 86 (126); Wayne, 73 (208); Carbon, 67 (45); Sullivan, 60 (180); Wyoming, 57 (57); Susquehanna, 41 (92); Lackawanna, 37 (25); Columbia, 36 (26); Northumberland, 26 (11); and Montour, 3 (0).

Southeast: Dauphin, 48 (46); Schuylkill, 39 (34); Northampton, 21 (4); Lehigh 3 (3); Berks, 7 (2); and Lebanon, 4 (13).

According to final reports, 45 bears weighing 500 pounds or more were legally harvested during the four seasons, and 5 bears surpassed the 600 pound mark. The top 10 bears processed at check stations all had estimated live weights that exceeded 561 pounds. Joseph A. Spano, of East Stoudsburg, has harvested the largest bear so far this season. Taken Nov. 21, in Middle Smithfield Township, Monroe County, the male bear weighed an actual live weight of 709 pounds.

Other large bears (all but one, are estimated live weights) included: a 706-pound male taken by James R. Weisbrod, of Quakertown, in Greene Township, Pike County, on Nov. 20; a 699-pound male taken by William M. Rising, of Indiana, in Hamlin Township, McKean County, on Nov. 19; a 652-pound (actual live weight) male taken by Timothy J. Moffett, of Barto, in Middle Smithfield Township, Monroe County, on Nov. 17; a 620-pound male, taken by Robert A. Pitts, of Meadville, in Roulette Township, Potter County, on Nov. 17; a 598-pound male, taken by Michael P. Intallura, of Renovo, in Noyes Township, Clinton County, on Nov. 17; 586-pound male, taken by Brian K. Stuebgen, of Renfrew, in Sergeant Township, McKean County, on Nov. 19; a 576-pound male, taken by Dana L. Landis, of Chambersburg, in Southampton Township, Bedford County, on Nov. 19; a 573-pound male taken by Michael J. Kelly, of Pittsburgh, in Harmony Township, Forest County, on Nov. 21; and a 562-pound male taken by Bryan L. Leabhart, of Dudley, in Carbon Township, Huntingdon County, on Nov. 19.

“While the Game Commission is not qualified to provide specific food safety advice, bear hunters need to be aware of the need for proper preparation of any bear meat,” said Dr. Walter Cottrell, Game Commission wildlife veterinarian. “In addition to the advice already provided on safe handling of game in the field, certain recommendations can be made. If in the course of field dressing and processing game a successful hunter encounters no abnormal odors, colors, or textures to the meat it should be safe to consume if cooked to an internal temperature of 135F for mammals, and 165F for birds as determined by a meat thermometer used according to the manufacturers recommendations.”


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