Beech Creek man bags huge 562-pound bear

After two days, 1,310 black bears harvested

HARRISBURG — One of the largest black bears harvested during the first two days of bear season, was killed by a Beech Creek hunter.

The 562-pound male taken Nov. 20 in Beech Creek Township, Clinton County, by William J. Miller, of Beech Creek.

After two days, 1,310 black bears have been harvested as part of Pennsylvania’s statewide bear season, according to preliminary totals released Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

The largest bear recorded – a male estimated at 700 pounds – was taken in Oil Creek Township, Venango County, by Chad A. Wagner, of Titusville. He took it with a rifle at about 8 a.m. on Nov. 18, the season’s opening day.

Other large bears taken in the first two days – all taken with a rifle – include: a 648-pound male taken Nov. 18 in Dreher Township, Wayne County, by Joseph D. Simon, of Newfoundland; a 609-pound male taken Nov. 18 in Abbott Township, Potter County, by Michael R. Neimeyer, of Spring City; a 601-pound male taken Nov. 20 in Valley Township, Armstrong County, by Bo J. Bowser, of Kittanning; a 595-pound male taken Nov. 18 in St. Marys Township, Elk County, by Stephanie A. Siford, of North East; a 595-pound male taken Nov. 18 in Charleston Township, Tioga County, by Zachery L. Martin, of Wellsboro; a 586-pound male taken Nov. 18 in Oil Creek Township, Crawford County, by Brian K. Baker, Titusville, ; a 576-pound male taken Nov. 18 in Homer Township, Potter County, by Kirby R. Kornhaus, of Jonestown; a 561-pound male taken Nov. 20 in Fox Township, Sullivan County, by Tyler J. Bagley, Of Montgomery, Pa; a 561-pound male taken in Ross Township, Luzerne County, by Richard B. Kollar, of Shickshinny, Pa.; a 555-pound male taken Nov. 20 in Brady Township, Clearfield County, by Mark A. Perks, of Luthersburg, Pa.

The 2017 two-day preliminary harvest is a decrease compared to 1,893 bears taken during the statewide season’s first two days in 2016. Hunters in 2015 harvested 2,224 bears on the season’s first two days.

The overall 2016 bear harvest was 3,529, the fifth-largest in state history. In 2015, hunters took a total of 3,745 bears – the fifth-largest harvest all time. The largest harvest – 4,350 bears – happened in 2011, when preliminary two-day totals numbered 2,709.

The top bear-hunting county in the state over the first two days of the season was Tioga County with 93.

Two-day preliminary harvests by county and region are:

r Northwest (223): Warren, 61 (81); Jefferson, 41 (47); Venango, 37 (61); Clarion, 25 (38); Forest, 23 (55); Crawford, 19 (15); Butler, 6 (6); Mercer, 6 (4); and Erie, 5 (5).

r Southwest (90): Somerset, 31 (63); Armstrong, 25 (11); Fayette, 18 (40); Westmoreland, 6 (25); Indiana, 5 (19); and Cambria, 5 (13).

r Northcentral (532): Tioga, 93 (125); Potter, 84 (100); Clinton, 83 (143); Lycoming, 74 (132); Elk, 53 (59); McKean, 44 (75); Clearfield, 40 (66); Cameron, 34 (54); Centre, 17 (57); and Union, 10 (10).

r Southcentral (106): Bedford, 24 (50); Huntingdon, 33 (42); Fulton, 11 (27); Perry, 7 (25); Juniata, 7 (24); Mifflin, 7 (19); Blair, 4 (16); Franklin, 7 (11); Snyder, 2 (7); Adams, 2 (0); and Cumberland, 2 (3).

r Northeast (339): Pike, 83 (42); Sullivan, 49 (34); Wayne, 44 (31); Monroe, 31 (39); Luzerne, 28 (46); Bradford, 25 (36); Wyoming, 21 (16); Lackawanna, 19 (20); Susquehanna, 16 (22); Carbon, 15 (20); Columbia, 6 (16); Montour, 1 (1); and Northumberland, 1 (1).

r Southeast (20): Dauphin, 9 (18); Schuylkill, 5 (15); Lebanon, 1 (6); Berks, 4 (1); and Northampton, 1 (1).

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