The running tally of bears killed by Pennsylvania hunters in 2021, maintained through the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s online link to its bear check stations across the state, passed 2,273 on Monday, the third day of the firearms hunting season for bears that continues through today.
Although hunters harvested more bruins over the weekend-long opener to the season than they did during the same 2 days last year – 1,075 this year; 908 last year — the overall harvest to date, including archery and other seasons earlier this fall, is far below last year’s running tally, which was 2,887.
Last year’s total harvest, after all seasons, was 3,608, which was about 20% lower than the record harvest of 4,653 bears in 2019 and ranked as the state’s sixth best.
The statewide firearms season for bear closes at sunset Tuesday.
Extended bear hunting will be allowed in WMUs 1B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 5A from Nov. 27 through Dec. 4, including Sunday, Nov. 28.
Bear season in WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D will run Nov. 27 through December 11, including Sunday, Nov. 28.
The top 2021 harvest counties through Sunday were Lycoming, with 136 bears killed to date; Potter, 130; Clinton, 123; Tioga, 116; Pike, 113; Clearfield, 82; Centre, 73; Bradford, 71; McKean, 71; and Elk, 70.
The largest bruins harvested so far this year have weighed 681 pounds, Luzerne County; 676 pounds, Armstrong County; 640 pounds, Clearfield County; 605 pounds, Clearfield County; 602 pounds, Clinton County; 595 pounds, Luzerne County; 590 pounds, Tioga County; 590 pounds, Potter County; 588 pounds, Potter County; and 584 pounds, Wayne County.