PA Bear Season Looking To Be Good

Pennsylvania Game and Fish, Bear Hunting Magazine

Last year's bear harvest was light, but weather permitting, Pennsylvania Game Commission expects hunters to have good bear hunting seasons this year.

Weather affected the opening day of last year's November bear season, but hunters took 2,360 bears by the time the state's slate of bear seasons closed, which compares with 3,122 in 2006. Already in this decade hunters have taken more black bears than in any other decade since the agency began keeping records in 1915.

Pennsylvania's primary bear season is November 24 to 26, and bear archery season is November 19 and 20 in some parts of the state, including Fulton, Huntingdon and Perry counties and parts of Franklin and Cumberland counties. An extended season runs from December 1 to 6 in some northern sections of the state and from December 3 to 6 in some midstate regions.

"License sales indicate that the number of bear hunters may be up this year," Game Commission bear biologist Mark Ternent said. "Couple that with what appears to be at least a stable, and possibly larger, bear population and it could translate into good bear hunting."

He recommends hunters talk to farmers and foresters, check out the agency's Web site and try to spend some time in the woods before bear season arrives. Bear licenses must be purchased before December 1. Hunters who already have their general hunting license, which is silver, may add bear license privileges at any issuing agent or through The Outdoor Shop on the agency's Web site Hunters who buy a bear license online will be given a "web order number," which they will be instructed to write on their general license and sign the appropriate box; they will not need to wait for anything to be mailed.
Hunters who bought their general hunting license (yellow) through the agency's pilot "Pennsylvania Automated License System" would need to buy their bear license through the PALS Website,, and wait for a new bear license to be mailed to them (delivery can take seven to 10 days) or they can visit one of the 15 sites selling licenses through PALS.

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