Although the estimated take for the 2013-14 deer seasons in Pennsylvania will not be released by the Pennsylvania Game Commission until early next spring before antlerless allocations are made for the 2014-15 seasons, the final total of black bears taken during this fall's various seasons could be in the top five all time.
This year the PGC announced that 2,308 bears were inspected by agency personnel at check stations, but that total is only for the first three days of the statewide firearms season. Yet to be announced are the number of bears taken during the various early concurrent seasons in during the archery and antlerless muzzleloader seasons and those taken during the concurrent seasons the first week of the firearms deer season.
As it is, the 2,308 bears taken ranks No. 15 all time, and when the final official total is released it could rank in the top 10. Although inclement weather hit much of the state the final two days of the firearms season, there was a strong turnout by hunters.
Many check stations were unable to electronic transmit data the final two days of the firearms season because of weather-related computer problems. For that reason, it is believed the 3,000 bears taken in 2003, which ranks No. 10 all time, is expected to be surpassed.
Bears had been taken in 51 counties during the statewide season, with Tioga County the leader with 163, and the top 10 bears processed at check stations by Monday on the second day of the season were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 557 pounds or more. Monday, a boar with an estimated weight of 772 pounds taken in Lackawanna County was checked by Dan Beavers of Covington Township.
Other large bears are a 632-pound boar taken by Mike Truax of Everett in Bedford County; a 627-pound boar taken by Wayne Gehers of Mohnton Tioga County; a 616-pound boar taken by Brad Rohrer of Lancaster in Tioga County; a 601-pound boar taken by Jeff Kratz of Collegeville in Sullivan County; a 597-pound boar taken by Jenna Schoenagel of Greentown in Pike County; a 595-pound boar taken by Maurice Younker of Mercersburg in Fulton County; a 586-pound boar taken by Jalynn Macnelley of Laceyville in Bradford County; a 560-pound boar taken by Ernest Lucrezi of Beachlake Wayne County; and a 557-pound boar taken by Ron Fitzgerald of Forksville in Sullivan County.
This year's three-day preliminary total compares with 2,442 in 2012, when hunters took 3,632 bears, the third most in state history. In 2011, the record of 4,350 bears was taken, when preliminary three-day totals numbered 3,023.
Preliminary three-day bear totals by WMUs are: WMU 1A, 15; WMU 1B, 79; WMU 2C, 218; WMU 2D, 143; WMU 2E, 76; WMU 2F, 269; WMU 2G, 490; WMU 2H, 72; WMU 3A, 155; WMU 3B, 161; WMU 3C, 59; WMU 3D, 193; WMU 4A, 71; WMU 4B, 55; WMU 4C, 54; WMU 4D, 176; and WMU 4E, 22.
Preliminary totals by PGC region and county are:
Northwest: Warren , 130; Jefferson, 63; Venango, 60; Clarion, 46; Forest, 44; Crawford, 31; Butler , 24; and Erie , 4.
Southwest: Somerset , 97; Fayette, 63; Indiana , 38; Armstrong, 35; Westmoreland, 30; and Cambria , 22.
Northcentral: Tioga, 163; Lycoming, 155; Potter, 118; Clearfield , 107; Clinton , 101; Cameron, 96; Elk, 87; Centre, 72; McKean, 64; and Union , 23.
Southcentral: Bedford , 50; Huntingdon, 46; Mifflin, 23; Blair, 22; Juniata, 22; Fulton , 17; Perry, 12; Snyder, 11; and Franklin , 8.
Northeast: Pike, 82; Wayne , 52; Sullivan, 47; Luzerne, 46; Carbon, 31; Monroe, 30; Wyoming , 28; Lackawanna , 26; Bradford, 21; Susquehanna, 13; and Columbia , 10.
Southeast: Schuylkill, 18; Dauphin, 9; Lebanon , 5; and Northampton, 1.