Annual Report 2007-2008 - 6

Most WMUs have stable to slightly increasing population trends, however, estimates from 2007 corroborated a declining population trend in WMU 3D during recent years. Consequently, the extended bear season was closed in WMU 3D for 2008. Unit 3D was the first area opened to extended hunting in 2002; extended season hunting was available there through 2007. Analyses of human-bear conflict trends and harvest rates resulted in the extension of bear hunting opportunities dur2007-08 ing the 2008 regular firearms deer season in WMUs 4C, 4D and 4E. Cub production and survival was monitored by visiting 43 adult female bears in winter dens during January, February and March. In all, 42 adults, 66 cubs and 6 yearlings were tagged in 7 counties. The average number of cubs per Hal Korber litter was 3.1 and the sex ratio of cubs was near 1:1. There were 1,623 entries in the statewide human-bear conflict database during 2007. Conservation officers relocated 255 bears that had been trapped at reported human-bear conflict sites; 28 bear damage claims totaling $10,273 were approved for payment, and 10 bears were WILDLIFE CONSERVATION OFFICERS relocated 255 euthanized because of crop dam- bears that had been trapped at reported human-bear age or repeated nuisance behav- conflict sites. ior. Furtaker license sales have continued to increase as trappers and hunters intensively pursue Pennsylvania’s abundant furbearers. During the 2007-08 harvest seasons, 28,033 furtaker licenses were sold, the highest number recorded since 1989. Harvest levels increased for all species except beaver, which declined slightly from the year before. Game Commission staff continued efforts to monitor changes in furbearer populations, with the most intensive work focused on fishers, bobcats, beavers and river otters. The PGC randomly allocated 1,010 bobcat harvest permits during September 2007. Each permit allowed for the harvest of one bobcat from within Wildlife Management Units 2A, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, and 3D (combined). Hunters and trappers reported 356 bobcats harvested from 28 counties and all WMUs that were open to harvest. Due to favorable weather, 58 percent of the harvest occurred after January 1, 2008. The addition of WMU 2A during the 2007-08 season increased the available bobcat harvest area in the commonwealth by 10 percent. The addition of WMU 4D for the 2008-09 season should expand the allowable harvest area by 14 percent and will better distribute harvest throughout the established bobcat range. These recent changes have resulted in approximately 23,020 square miles of land area currently open for bobcat hunting and trapping. The bobcat permit allocation was set at 1,435 permits for the 2008-09 season. During 2005-06, regulations were adopted to legalize the use of cable restraint devices to harvest red foxes, gray foxes and coyotes during late winter periods. Trappers are required to complete a specialized training session and to pass a written exam prior to receiving certification to use these devices. As of June, 30, 2008, 2,153 trappers had received cable restraint training and passed the certification exam. The overall effi6 GAME NEWS

Annual Report 2007-2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Annual Report 2007-2008

Annual Report 2007-2008 - 1
Annual Report 2007-2008 - 2
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