Northwestern Pennsylvania isn’t the heart of the state’s black bear-hunting territory, but the nine-county region did its part this past season to contribute to a record kill.
Hunters in the Northwest Region killed 395 of the 4,350 bears reported to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The record of 4,164 had been set in 2005.
In Warren County, hunters more than doubled the 2010 harvest figures: 119 in 2011 vs. 54 a year earlier. Forest County nearly doubled its kills, to 90 from 47. Crawford had 16, or 10 more than 2010, and Erie had seven, four more than in 2010. Mercer (6 vs. 2) and Jefferson (45 vs. 34) counties also saw increases. Venango County’s 56 were one fewer than in 2010, and Clarion had 47 reported kills, two fewer than in 2010.
The top five counties all were in the Northcentral Region, led by Potter County with 399 bears harvested — 251 more than in 2010.
There were 88 bears killed that weighed at least 500 pounds. The heaviest was an estimated 767-pound male shot with a crossbow by Joseph Colyer, of Pocono Lake, in Tobyhanna, Monroe County.
The Game Commission said there were 304 bears killed during the five-day archery season; 3,168 during the four-day bear season; and 878 during the extended bear season in certain wildlife management units during the first week of deer season.