Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 55

That's where a friendly reminder would help. Ask friends or family to remind you. Put a harvest card or note
in plain sight on your dresser on the kitchen counter to jog your memory, or add "report my deer harvest" to your
daily calendar. Acknowledging the need to report and taking action to ensure you do will help. But recognition
of the problem we face is key to making Pennsylvania's deer management program even better.
Hunters can use three free and easy methods to report: Online at www.pgc.state.pa.us by clicking on "Report
a Harvest;" by telephone, call 1-855-724-8681 or 1-855-PAHUNT1; or by postage-paid report card, which can
be found in this Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest.
Thanks in advance for getting more involved with deer harvest reporting in the upcoming seasons. Working
together, we can improve the science used to manage deer. It's something that all of us can rally behind.

Black Bear Hunting Keeps Getting Better Everywhere
Bear biologist Mark Ternent looks at 2013's harvest and ahead

L

AST year, hunters harvested 3,511 bears, which ranked as the fifth-highest harvest in state history. How
did that harvest break down by season, and were there any outcomes that seemed unusual when compared
to previous years?
Bear season began last year with the early season, which allows bears to be harvested in any deer season
in WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C, and 5D, including the archery, early muzzleloader and special early firearms seasons that
occur in September and October. Bears cannot be hunted in the late flintlock season in those WMUs.
Although these four WMUs lie mostly on the periphery of the current bear range, sightings of bears have
steadily increased in recent years. The early season was created in 2012 to prevent further establishment of bear
populations in these areas, because of the high potential for human-bear conflicts. By offering additional bear
hunting opportunities, we hope to allow for occasional sightings but have fewer resident bears.
Last year, 12 bears were harvested in the early season, which was almost identical to the previous year's
take of 13. This might not sound like many bears, but it represents a significant increase from prior years when
only one or two bears would be harvested in the same WMUs. Because the harvest level did not change and is
within acceptable limits, the same season is provided again this year.
While the early season harvest changed little from the previous year, the archery season harvest decreased
noticeably. Over the three previous years, 278 bears on average were taken annually during the five-day statewide
archery season. But in 2013, only 197 bears were harvested, a decline of 41 percent. The difference was caused
by primarily below-average harvests on the first and last days of the archery season, which unfortunately also
are high-participation days. Strong winds were recorded over most of the state on the first day and steady rain
on the last day. Since the poor weather contributed to the harvest decline on key days, and hunter participation
and bear populations weren't suspected to be contributing factors, no changes to the season were recommended
for 2014. Currently, about 18,000 hunters participate in the archery bear season.
The general season, which starts on the Saturday immediately following the archery season and continues
into Thanksgiving week, is Pennsylvania's traditional bear season. Since 2003, general season harvests have
averaged 2,800 bears annually, ranging between
2,026 in 2007 and 3,355 in 2005. Last year, 2,521
bears were taken in the general season.
Thus, last year's general season harvest
was only slightly below what would have been
considered average. However, two points about
the 2013 general season are noteworthy.
First, opening the general season on a
Saturday, which first occurred in 2010, continues
to have minimal effect on how hunters distribute
their time during the season. In 2013, 54 percent
of the season's harvest occurred on the opening
day, compared to 65 percent when the season Joe Kosack
opened on a Monday. This percentage also was Brian Lesh of Elliotsburg took this 489-pound Perry
similar to what was observed in 2010 (62 percent), County bear in the 2013 general black bear season.

2014-15 PA Hunting & Trapping Digest

55


http://www.pgc.state.pa.us

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015

Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - Intro
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 3
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 4
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 5
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 6
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 7
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 8
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 9
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 10
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 11
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 12
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 13
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 14
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 15
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 16
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 17
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 18
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 19
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 20
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 21
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 22
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 23
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 24
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 25
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 26
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 27
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 28
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 29
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 30
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 31
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 32
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 33
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 34
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Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 36
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 37
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 38
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 39
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 40
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 41
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 42
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 43
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 44
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 45
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 46
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 47
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 48
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 49
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 50
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 51
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 52
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 53
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 54
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 55
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 56
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 57
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 58
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 59
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 60
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 61
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 62
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 63
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 64
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Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 76
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 77
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 78
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 79
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 80
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Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 84
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 85
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 86
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - Cover4
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