Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 42

One really bothered him.
Working bear check stations through
the 1970s, he had come to believe that
dozens of hunters every fall weren't
reporting their harvested bears for fear
of persecution and prosecution. It all
stemmed from the Commonwealth's cub
law, which had been on the books since
1925.
Passed to protect young bears at a
time when such chivalrous actions were
popular, the law had become an obstacle
to professional bear management. It
compelled some hunters to leave cubs,
or perceived cubs, in the woods, which

NEXT ISSUE
The strides made for Pennsylvania black-bear
management through the early 1980s set the stage
for population growth and expansion, an array of
new challenges, and hunting opportunities that
seemed unimaginable. Don't miss the final installment of this series in next month's issue.

42

eliminated the chance to record them as
part of the harvest, wasted the resource
and violated the law.
Alt said there were times when cubs
would weigh as much as 140 pounds and
legal females only 80 pounds. The only
way to know for sure which was which
was by measuring a bear's canine tooth
to see if it was more than a half-inch long,
something that couldn't be determined
looking through a rifle scope.
Agreeing with Alt, the Board of Game
Commissioners abolished the cub law,
making the one-day 1980 bear season in
29 counties the first since 1925 in which
any bear was legal to shoot.
Still, many hunters opposed the
change, and The Fund for Animals asked
a federal judge to close the season. The
ruling to keep it open came down the day
before the season.
Bear management improved immediately. The cub law had provided protection bears never really needed. Eliminating it strengthened the reliability of



Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020

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

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 3
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Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover4
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