A 707-pound male black bear taken Wednesday, Nov. 25, the final day of last week's three-day statewide bear hunt tops the list of 3,036 bears taken to Pennsylvania Game Commission check stations.
Charles Olsen, Jr., of Wilkes-Barre took the big boar at 4 p.m. in Noxen Township, Wyoming County. Ranking No. 2 is a 655-pound boar taken by Dave Kohnow, Morrisville, near Jim Thorpe, at 4:15 p.m., Nov. 24.
Previously, the two heaviest bears were boars taken Nov. 23 in Penn Forest Township, Carbon County, by hunters from Jim Thorpe. Terence Burkhardt took a boar at 4:35 p.m. with an actual live weight of 654 pounds, and Mike Wimmer, Jr., took a boar at 3:30 p.m. with an estimated live weight of 654 pounds.
Ted Pershun, Fairhope, harvested the largest bear during the two-day archery bear season a male with an estimated live weigh of 609 pounds in Allegheny Township, Somerset County, 4:15 p.m., Nov. 18, with a crossbow.
According to the PGC, 108 bears were taken during the two-day limited archery season, Nov. 18 and 19. So far, the total bear harvest of 3,144 for the two seasons preliminarily ranks as the third highest, however, with the extended bear season in certain Wildlife Management Units continuing through today, the total preliminary harvest will increase.
Hunters can help emergency food assistance agencies feed Pennsylvania's hungry by donating extra deer meat to the statewide "Hunters Sharing the Harvest" network.
Participating hunters can take their deer to one of the nearly 80 participating meat processors throughout the state and identify how much of the venison – from several pounds to the whole animal – they would like to donate. If the entire deer is donated, the hunter is asked to make a minimum $15 tax-deductible contribution to help cover processing costs, and HSH will pay the remaining fees, or hunters may also donate a portion of their deer by paying the full processing fee and notifying the processor to hold a specified amount for the program.
Established in 1991, HSH provides more than 200,000 meals annually to food banks, churches and social services feeding programs.Last year, hunters donated more than 100,000 pounds of venison.
To learn more about Hunters Sharing the Harvest and obtain a list of participating meat processors and county coordinators, visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Web site at www.pgc.state.pa.us  and click on "Hunting" and then "Hunters Sharing the Harvest." Information may also be found at www.sharedeer.org  or by calling toll-free 866-474-2141.
John Plowman, Pennsylvania chairman of Hunters Sharing the Harvest, is today's guest on "Experience the Outdoors" with Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz on Oldies 1410-AM, from 7:30-8 a.m. There will be a rebroadcast of the program Sunday, from 9:30-10 a.m., on Magic, WMGH, 105.5-FM.
A muzzleloader shoot will be held, Sunday, Dec. 13, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., by the First Frontier Militia at Bowmanstown Rod and Gun Club, Gun Club Road, off Route 248, Bowmanstown. For information, call Roger Fisher at 610-377-2812.
As part of its popular patch collection offerings, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has commissioned a new patch to promote the Mentored Youth Hunting Program.Accompanying the 4.5x3.5-inch patch is a Saf-T Plug that acts as a visual cue that the action of any pump-action or semi-automatic shotgun is open and safe.The two items sell for $7, including sales tax, and can be obtained at any Game Commission office or through "The Outdoor Shop" on the agency's Web site at www.pgc.state.pa.us .
To order online, click on "The Outdoor Shop" icon in the right-hand column of the homepage, then choose "Pennsylvania Game Commission Outdoor Shop" in the lower left-hand corner of the page, select "Merchandise" in the banner, select "Patches" in the left-hand column and scroll down to "2009 Mentored Youth Patch & PGC Saf-T Plug." Orders also can be made by calling 1-888-888-3459.