Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 34

before going over there, Pennsylvania's
hunter numbers grew. And their influence
on game harvest was significant.
The bear population soon started losing
ground. Hunters and the Game Commission took notice.
"Perhaps we are killing too many bears
and may reach a point within a few years
where our bear hunting will be impaired,"
the January 1951 Board of Game Commissioners meeting minutes reported.
Data would be gathered and analyzed
to identify trends that might help in setting
bear seasons.

CAUSE & EFFECT
Through the 1950s and into the '60s,
Pennsylvania's bears were believed to
have numbered between 2,000 to 2,500.
But in 1966, something changed. The
Game Commission increased bearhunting party bag limits. And with

34

Pennsylvania's primary bear range found
in hunting-camp country, where drives
accounted for a large part of an annual
bear harvest, the 1966 harvest of 605 was
the state's largest since 1930.
Normally, a much-lower harvest would
have followed. With cubs protected and
many females denning before season,
fewer legal bears figured to be sharing
the woods with hunters. But a tremendous mast crop kept significant numbers
of bears from denning prior to the bear
hunting season and hunters got into them;
another 568 bears were taken.
Already concerned about the big 1966
harvest, the Game Commission in June
1967 teamed up with the Pennsylvania
Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit at
Penn State, under the leadership of James
Lindzey, to look at the black bear population's sex and age structure, habitat needs,
movements, diet and life history.



Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020

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Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 2
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Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover4
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