Pennsylvania Game Commission patch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
HARRISBURG, PA - Pennsylvania’s black-bear population has jumped from about 18,000 to about 20,000 bears.
The number of hunters buying bear licenses is on pace to break the previous record. And the red-oak acorn crop statewide is one for the ages. All of the pieces are in place for a historic bear season in Pennsylvania. And things have gotten underway.
Pennsylvania’s bear archery season opened Nov. 14 and closed Nov. 18. The firearms bear sear season opened Saturday, Nov. 19, then runs from Monday, Nov. 21 to Wednesday, Nov. 23.
Extended opportunities to hunt bears during all or a portion of the deer-hunting seasons also exist in much of the state.
There’s been plenty of reason to get excited about bear hunting in recent years.
Pennsylvania’s eight largest bear harvests all have occurred within the past decade. The 2015 harvest was the third-largest on record, with hunters taking 3,748 bears. A whopping 68 of those bears topped the 500-pound mark, and 18 topped 600 pounds.
Bears were taken in 57 of the state’s 67 counties in 2015. And this year holds as much promise as ever.
View up-to-the-minute information from bear check stations.
FISHERS THE FOCUS OF NOV. 17 WEBINAR
HARRISBURG, PA - Once extirpated from Pennsylvania’s forests, fishers have returned to their native range.
And those interested in finding out more about the fisher’s recovery in Pennsylvania are invited to watch a recording of the Game Commission's fisher webinar.
Game Commission biologist Matt Lovallo described the recovery of fisher populations and the ecology and behavior of fishers. The session included a PowerPoint presentation, followed by a short question-and-answer period.
IT’S TIME TO HUNT YOUR BUCK OF A LIFETIME
HARRISBURG, PA - Pennsylvania’s 12-day firearms deer season opens Nov. 28.
With the countdown to kickoff underway, thousands of the state’s hunters are inching closer to bringing home the buck of a lifetime, said Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough.
“The prospect of bagging a trophy buck in Pennsylvania probably has never been better,” Hough said. “More and more of the buck harvest is being made up of mature bucks. In the 2015-16 seasons, an incredible 59 percent of bucks taken by hunters were ages 2½ or older. And many of these deer are absolute wall-hangers that any hunter would be proud to take.
Read the 2016-17 deer forecast.