Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 56

2011 (62 percent), and 2012 (58 percent).
Therefore, allowing the general season to open on Saturday has not led to fewer hunters in the remainder
of the season, or the percent of harvest occurring on the opening day would be greater. This does not mean that
more hunters have not been attracted to bear hunting in Pennsylvania since the opening day was moved. In fact,
bear license sales have increased 13 percent over the past four years, reaching a new record of 167,439 last
year. But it does suggest that bear hunters continue to use the available days in a pattern similar to how they did
before the Saturday opener was added.
The second noteworthy point from the 2013 general season is the effect of adding a fourth day to the
season, which first occurred in 2011. Last year, a record 191 bears were taken on the fourth day of the general
season, which represented 8 percent of the general season's harvest. In 2012, there were 181 bears taken the last
day and in 2011, 128 bears. This increasing trend suggests more hunters are pursuing bears on the last day of
the season. If so, it provides further evidence that a Saturday opener has not led to less participation later in the
season. Having hunters participate on more than one day helps mitigate the effects of inclement weather during
part of the season, and increases total harvest.
Eleven WMUs were open to extended bear hunting in 2013, which was similar to the previous year with
three exceptions: In WMU 3D, the extended season was lengthened from four days to six, in WMU 3B, the
entire unit was opened to extended hunting instead of two-thirds of the unit as had been the case previously, and
in WMU 4E, a four-day extended season was implemented across the entire unit, replacing the four-day and
six-day seasons previously used in different parts of the unit.
These three changes allowed for the extended season harvest increased from 672 bears in 2012 to 780 bears
in 2013. However, total harvest in all WMUs affected by the extended season remained within acceptable limits,
and they again will be open to extended hunting in 2014.
Two new WMUs have been added to the extended season for 2014. For the first time, WMUs 2C and 4B
will be open to four additional days of bear hunting during Wednesday through Saturday of the first week of
firearms deer season. These two WMUs were added to the extended season because of increasing bear populations and associated human-bear conflicts. Results from these WMUs, and others open to extended hunting, will
be reviewed after the 2014 seasons to determine if they should remain part of the extended season next year.
There has not been a better time to hunt bears in Pennsylvania than now because of the season changes
implemented over the past 10 years. Considering that many of these expanded opportunities occurred because
bear populations have increased or expanded into new areas, it is no surprise that Pennsylvania currently has
more bear hunters than just about any other state in the country.

Wild Turkey Hunting Update

Wild Turkey Biologist May Jo Casalena covers the latest turkey news

W

ILD turkey populations generally have been declining in most eastern states, including ours, since a peak
in the early 2000s. Probable causes include a natural population contraction following the boom years; loss
of quality nesting habitat; a series of springs with cold or wet weather that reduced productivity; and possibly
higher-than-desirable hen harvest levels in fall seasons. To help you better visualize the decline, consider there were
about 280,000 turkeys in the statewide spring population when it peaked in 2001. In 2013, there were 186,000.
Consequently, in most areas of the commonwealth, turkeys are not as numerous or as easy to find as they
were 10 to15 years ago. However, hunter success rates have not declined very much from the early 2000s,
especially for those who scout before season. There are still plenty of birds out there to provide the thrill of a
good scatter in the November hardwoods and a booming gobble to break the stillness of a cool May morning.
Although Pennsylvania's fall season participation and harvest have been decreasing, they remain by far
the highest in the Northeast. The 2013 fall harvest was about 13,700 birds. This is down from an average of
23,000 over the previous 10 years.
The Game Commission has maintained a conservative approach to fall harvest, because: Pennsylvania
has a large number of fall turkey hunters; fall mortality of hens is additive (if not harvested, they would likely
survive and breed the following spring); and fall seasons are set before we know what reproduction will be like
in a given year. Seasons vary by WMU, primarily according to the size and trend of the turkey population. But
it's understood that WMUs with low overall populations have some pockets with sizable flocks and WMUs with

56

Pennsylvania Game Commission



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
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 35
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
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 65
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 66
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 67
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 68
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 69
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 70
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 71
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 72
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 73
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 74
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 75
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
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 81
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 82
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 83
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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