Bear Hunters Set Record in Pennsylvania

Hunters had a record year during Pennsylvania’s three recent bear seasons.  The old record of 4,164 bears killed set in 2005 which had two bear seasons was broken with 4,350 bears in 2011.  The preliminary figure of 3,968 which was announced by the Game Commission in December 2011 didn’t include complete reports from all check stations.

Pennsylvania’s final tally by season:

— 304 bears taken during the statewide, five-day archery bear season.

— 3,168 bears taken during the four-day bear season, which included a Saturday-opener.

— 878 bears taken during the extended bear season held in various Wildlife Management Units during the first week of the deer season.

According to the final reports, 88 bears weighing 500 pounds or more were legally harvested during the three seasons, and 25 bears surpassed the 600 pound mark. The top 10 bears processed at check stations all had estimated live weights that exceeded 678 pounds.

Joseph C. Colyer, of Pocono Lake, shot the largest bear, a male weighing 767 pounds (estimated live weight) with a crossbow. The bear was taken at 6:50 a.m. on Nov. 16 during the archery bear season in Tobyhanna, Monroe County.

Other large bears (all estimated live weights) included: a 746-pound male, by Jonathan E. Byler, of Ulysses, in Ulysses, Potter County, on Nov. 19; a 734-pound male, by Steven Camasta, of Lakeview, in Salem Township, Wayne County, on Nov. 19; a 733-pound male, by Robert Christian, of East Stroudsburg, in Stroud, Monroe County, on Nov. 30; a 733-pound male, by John J. Hennick, of Cambria, in Bell Township, Clearfield County, on Nov. 19; a 729-pound male, by William Simpson, of East Brady Township, in Highland Township, Elk County on Nov. 21; a 714-pound male, by Timothy Kiser, of Karns City, in Bradys Bend Township, Armstrong County on Nov. 19; a 706-pound male, by Paul Hoyt, of Levittown, in Lehigh Township, Wayne County on Nov. 19; a 682-pound male, by Robert M. Serfass, of Saylorsburg, in Lehman, Pike County, on Nov. 23; and a 678-pound male, by Matthew Romano, of Conshohocken, in Fox Township, Sullivan County, on Nov. 19.

Prior bear harvest statistics: 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.

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