Hunters during the third day of Pennsylvania’s statewide bear season harvested 318 bears, raising the three-day total to 1,628 – an about 30 percent decrease compared to the 2,308 bears taken during the first three days of the 2016 season.
Extensive rain on the season’s opening day, Nov. 18, led to the harvest decline.
Archery and other early-bear season harvest data is not included in this report.
Bears have been harvested in 54 counties so far during the statewide season, which closes today.
The top 10 bears processed at check stations by Wednesday were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 569 pounds or more.
One bear taken on Tuesday joined the state’s top 10. It almost took top honors.
James M. Langdon, of Wattsburg, Pa., took a 691-pound male with a rifle in Cherry Grove Township, Warren County. It places second currently among largest bears taken in the four-day statewide bear season.
The state’s heaviest bear – a male estimated at 700 pounds – was taken in Oil Creek Township, Venango County, by Chad A. Wagner, of Titusville, Pa. He took it with a rifle at about 8 a.m. on Nov. 18, the season’s opening day.
Other large bears taken over the four-day season’s first three days – all taken with a rifle – include: a 648-pound male taken Nov. 18 in Dreher Township, Wayne County, by Joseph D. Simon, of Newfoundland, Pa.; a 609-pound male taken Nov. 18 in Abbott Township, Potter County, by Michael R. Neimeyer, of Spring City, Pa.; a 601-pound male taken Nov. 20 in Valley Township, Armstrong County, by Bo J. Bowser, of Kittanning; a 595-pound male taken Nov. 18 in St. Marys Township, Elk County, by Stephanie A. Siford, of North East, Pa.; a 595-pound male taken Nov. 18 in Charleston Township, Tioga County, by Zachery L. Martin, of Wellsboro, Pa.; a 586-pound male taken Nov. 18 in Oil Creek Township, Crawford County, by Brian K. Baker, of Titusville, Pa.; a 576-pound male taken Nov. 18 in Homer Township, Potter County, by Kirby R. Kornhaus, of Jonestown, Pa.; a 569-pound male taken Nov. 21 in Liberty Township, Centre County, by Conner L. Toner, of Beech Creek, Pa.; a 562-pound male taken Nov. 20 in Beech Creek Township, Clinton County, by William J. Miller, of Beech Creek, Pa.; a 561-pound male taken Nov. 20 in Fox Township, Sullivan County, by Tyler J. Bagley, Of Montgomery, Pa; a 561-pound male taken in Ross Township, Luzerne County, by Richard B. Kollar, of Shickshinny, Pa.
See harvest totals by county and region.
STATE’S HUNGRY THANKFUL FOR HUNTERS
When they sit down at the dinner table on Thursday, Pennsylvania’s hunters will have plenty for which to be thankful. It's prime time for Pennsylvania hunting and, with any luck, some game bags or ear tags have been filled already, or are nearly about to be.
But as hunters are giving thanks, they should know also they’re in a prime position to receive thanks for what they might choose to give.
Each year, the generosity of Pennsylvania’s hunters results in about 200,000 meals for the state’s hungry.
By donating venison through Hunters Sharing the Harvest – a program that works through a network of meat processors to channel venison donations to local food banks, soup kitchens and hungry families – hunters extend their helping hands to those in need.
And, once again this year, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and other partners are making it easy for hunters to help out. The Game Commission again donated $20,000 to the program – money that enables Hunters Sharing the Harvest to accept venison donations without charging hunters. In prior years, hunters who donated venison needed also to pay a $15 tax-deductible fee to cover deer-processing costs.
Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said the agency is proud to partner with Hunters Sharing the Harvest, a program that exemplifies the generosity of Pennsylvania’s hunters.
“There’s no greater gift than feeding someone who is hungry, and our state’s hunters have stepped up to do that, time and again, by working through the program to generously donate meat from the deer they harvest to people in need,” Burhans said.
At a Tuesday news conference to kick off the busiest season for venison donations, Hunters Sharing the Harvest Executive Director John Plowman thanked the Game Commission and others who have helped to make the program a success. All deer donated through Hunters Sharing the Harvest must be processed professionally by a participating butcher. For information on where to take deer to be donated, or to learn more about the program generally, visit Hunters Sharing the Harvest’s website, www.sharedeer.org.