Hunters during the final day of Pennsylvania’s statewide bear season harvested 168 bears, raising the 2017 statewide season harvest to 1,796 – an about 30 percent decrease compared to the 2,579 bears taken during the four days of the statewide season in 2016.
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. Comprehensive bear harvest totals that include bears taken during the early and extended seasons will be released in the coming months.
During the statewide season, bears were harvested in 54 counties.
The top 10 bears processed at check stations were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 576 pounds or more.


Two bears over 500 pounds were taken on the season’s final day. A male estimated at 581 pounds was taken in Tuscarora Township, Perry County, by Allen W. Esh, of Millerstown, Pa. Meanwhile, a male estimated at 568 pounds was taken in Fox Township, Elk County, by Edward J. Bellotti, of Kersey, Pa.
The state’s heaviest bear in the statewide season – 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 – all taken with a rifle – include: a 691-pound male taken Nov. 21 in Cherry Grove Township, Warren County, by James M. Langdon, of Wattsburg, Pa.; 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, 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.
The overall 2016 bear harvest was 3,529, the fifth-largest in state history. In 2015, hunters took a total of 3,748 bears – the third-largest harvest all time. The largest harvest – 4,350 bears – happened in 2011, when preliminary statewide season totals numbered 3,154.
The preliminary statewide season bear harvest by Wildlife Management Unit was as follows: WMU 1A, 14 (27 in 2016); WMU 1B, 58 (99); WMU 2A, 1 (1); WMU 2C, 91 (192); WMU 2D, 102 (79); WMU 2E, 27 (54); WMU 2F, 191 (276); WMU 2G, 388 (515); WMU 2H, 75 (92); WMU 3A, 111 (144); WMU 3B, 182 (165); WMU 3C, 85 (56); WMU 3D, 185 (167); WMU 4A, 75 (108); WMU 4B, 38 (69); WMU 4C, 48 (64); WMU 4D, 89 (158); WMU 4E, 33 (40); and WMU 5A, 3 (1).
The top bear hunting county in the statewide season was Lycoming County with 130 bears. It held off Tioga County, where hunters took 127 bears during the statewide season. Tioga County had led the state through the first two days of season. In the final day of the season, hunters took 14 bears in Tioga County and 10 in Lycoming County.
Statewide season harvests by county and region are:
Northwest (286): Warren, 84 (106); Jefferson, 48 (60); Venango, 43 (75); Clarion, 34 (42); Forest, 31 (64); Crawford, 22 (34); Butler, 12 (8); Erie, 6 (11); and Mercer, 6 (7).
Southwest (126): Somerset, 42 (76); Armstrong, 31 (19); Fayette, 27 (49); Westmoreland, 10 (29); Indiana, 8 (26); and Cambria, 8 (16).
Northcentral (754): Lycoming, 130 (156); Tioga, 127 (143); Potter, 118 (126); Clinton, 115 (179); Elk, 64 (66); McKean, 62 (88); Clearfield, 51 (87); Cameron, 42 (66); Centre, 34 (71); and Union, 11 (13).
Southcentral (162): Huntingdon, 46 (51); Bedford, 33 (59); Fulton, 21 (28); Mifflin, 13 (20); Perry, 12 (28); Juniata, 11 (27); Franklin, 9 (11); Blair, 8 (21); Cumberland, 4 (3); Adams, 3 (0) and Snyder, 2 (8).
Northeast (438): Pike, 94 (50); Sullivan, 63 (37); Wayne, 60 (40); Luzerne, 36 (62); Monroe, 36 (46); Wyoming, 30 (22); Bradford, 28 (39); Lackawanna, 27 (25); Carbon, 25 (22); Susquehanna, 20 (24); Columbia, 10 (20); Northumberland, 3 (1); and Montour, 1 (1).
Southeast (30): Dauphin, 15 (21); Schuylkill, 7 (16); Berks 4 (1); Lebanon, 2 (7); and Northampton, 2 (1).

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