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Clarion Man Bags Bear; Monday’s Snow Improves Harvest

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 06:11 AM

Posted by Scott Shindledecker

Steve Merwin bearJEFFERSON CO., Pa. (EYT) – More favorable weather conditions on Monday led to an increased black bear harvest.

The four-day gun season began on Saturday, but heavy rain across much of the state kept hunter numbers down, and as a result – the bear harvest.

According to Pa. Game Commission numbers, hunters bagged 659 bears on Saturday.

Cooler temperatures and a blanket of snow across the region made conditions better for hunters on Monday.

The 2017 first-day preliminary harvest is a decrease compared to 1,297 bears taken during the 2016 opener. Hunters in 2015 harvested 1,508 bears on the opening day.

As of 4:30 p.m. on Monday, PGC figures showed the harvest at more than 1,400. The season ends on Wednesday.

Clarion hunter Steve Merwin (pictured above) reported a bear to the local check station at the Falls Creek Fire Hall in Jefferson County.

Merwin bagged a sow bear that weighed 187 pounds dressed Saturday.

On Monday, two Clearfield County hunters from Sabula brought in the first bears of their respective hunting careers.

Both Bob Marshall and Eric Tinker (pictured below) were hunting together when they bagged two bears while hunting in Huston Township, Clearfield County.


Marshall’s weighed about 263 pounds live. It was a sow. Tinker’s was a boar that weighed nearly 100 pounds.

Marshall said he had been hunting bear for 50 years.

Archery hunters did well with 475 bears during the six-day season season held October 30 to November 4.

The top 10 bears processed at check stations by Monday were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 535 pounds or more.

The largest of those bears – 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 8:00 a.m. on November 18, the season’s opening day.

Locally, hunters had reported more than 40 bears to the Falls Creek check station as of late afternoon Monday.

In Jefferson County, the three biggest bears bagged by Monday afternoon were taken by Freeman Miller (216-pound sow), Gary Reddinger (202-pound sow), and Thomas Dunn (173-pound boar).

Other large bears taken in the season’s opening day – all taken with a rifle – include:

- a 648-pound male taken in Dreher Twp., Wayne Co., by Joseph D. Simon, of Newfoundland;
- a 609-pound male taken in Abbott Twp., Potter Co., by Michael R. Neimeyer, of Spring City;
- a 595-pound male taken in St. Marys Twp., Elk Co., by Stephanie A. Siford, of North East;
- a 595-pound male taken in Charleston Twp., Tioga Co., by Zachery L. Martin, of Wellsboro;
- a 586-pound male taken in Oil Creek Twp., Crawford Co., by Brian K. Baker, Titusville;
- a 576-pound male taken in Homer Twp., Potter Co., by Kirby R. Kornhaus, of Jonestown.;
- a 561-pound male taken in Ross Twp., Luzerne Co., by Richard B. Kollar, of Shickshinny;
- a 536-pound male taken in Dean Twp., Cambria Co., by Matthew J. Lidwell, of Dysart; and
- a 535-pound male taken in Blooming Grove Twp., Pike Co., by Bradley S. Delikat, of Telford.

The overall 2016 bear harvest was 3,529, the fifth largest in state history. In 2015, hunters took a total of 3,745 bears – the fifth-largest harvest all time. The largest harvest – 4,350 bears – happened in 2011, when preliminary first-day totals numbered 1,936.

Other previous first-day statewide bear harvest totals were 1,623 in 2014; 1,320 in 2013; 1,751 in 2010; 1,897 in 2009; 1,725 in 2008; 1,005 in 2007; 1,461 in 2007; and 1,461 in 2006.

The preliminary first-day bear harvest by Wildlife Management Unit was as follows: WMU 1A, 1 (9 in 2016); WMU 1B, 11 (24); WMU 2C, 18 (90); WMU 2D, 32 (37); WMU 2E, 5 (27); WMU 2F, 65 (145); WMU 2G, 129 (303); WMU 2H, 31 (45); WMU 3A, 43 (7); WMU 3B, 74 (95); WMU 3C, 44 (39); WMU 3D, 101 (105); WMU 4A, 29 (83); WMU 4B, 14 (51); WMU 4C, 20 (44); WMU 4D, 26 (102); WMU 4E, 14 (25); and WMU 5A, 2 (1).

The top bear-hunting county in the state on the first day of the season was Tioga County, with 58. It was followed by Pike County with 55.

Opening-day harvests by county and region are:

Northwest (90): Warren, 22 (41); Clarion, 17 (19); Venango, 16 (35); Jefferson, 14 (29); Forest, 12 (38); Crawford, 7 (8); Butler, 2 (5);.

Southwest (23): Somerset, 8 (40); Fayette, 6 (21); Armstrong, 4 (6); Cambria, 4 (10); and Indiana, 1 (10).

Northcentral (263): Tioga, 58 (76); Lycoming, 47 (106); Clinton, 41 (97); Potter, 31 (65); Elk, 28 (43); Cameron, 20 (43); McKean, 16 (39); Clearfield, 12 (46); Centre, 5 (34); and Union, 5 (9).

Southcentral (57): Huntingdon, 16 (37); Bedford, 12 (42); Fulton, 9 (25); Mifflin, 5 (14); Franklin, 4 (10); Juniata, 3 (22); Perry, 3 (17); Adams, 2 (0); Cumberland, 2 (3); and Blair, 1 (15).

Northeast (211): Pike, 55 (34); Wayne, 32 (27); Sullivan, 24 (19); Monroe, 18 (27); Luzerne, 15 (37); Wyoming, 15 (8); Lackawanna, 14 (16); Susquehanna, 13 (20); Bradford, 10 (28); Carbon, 9 (12); Columbia, 4 (12); Montour, 1 (0); and Northumberland, 1 (1).

Southeast (15): Dauphin, 9 (16); Berks, 3 (1); Schuylkill, 2 (12); and Northampton, 1 (1).

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