Local Bear Season Started Slowly
Despite almost perfect weather and an abundant bear population, activity was slow at the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s check station at the Wysox Fire Hall on opening day.
Through 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, only eight bruins had been brought in to the checkpoint.
“It’s a very slow start,” said Rich Lupinsky, a land management officer for the game commission.
“There’s a lot of bear out there,” he added, noting that the weather was similar to last year’s Saturday opener when 14 bruins had been brought in by 4 p.m.
State-wide, the opening day proved to be very successful with 1,936 bears killed in 52 counties. Only the 2005 opening-day preliminary estimate of 2,026 bears was higher.
This was the second year in which the season opened on a Saturday. Last year, there were 1,751 bear taken on the first day.
Locally, Sullivan County led the way with 68 bear killed on opening day. Bradford County finished the first day with 29 killed. Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties had 19 and 16 bears killed, respectively.
Fred Segar, III, Athens, brought in a bear estimated at 237 pounds live weight. It dressed out at 201 pounds.
Hunting with Monroeton resident Phil Johnson, Segar wasted little time bagging his bruin in Overton Township near Laquin at 7:40 a.m.
“It only took us three or four minutes,” Segar explained.
Johnson immediately pushed out two bear and Segar dropped the only one he had a shot at.
“The other one was a little bigger, but someone else got that one,” Segar said.
His bear, a male, had a tag and tattoo. Segar will receive notification of where the bear had been tagged.
Dennis Heim, from Jameson, killed his first bear while hunting out of his parents’ home on Shaffer’s Notch Road in Terry Township.
“She was eating beech nuts when I topped the ridge,” Heim said of the bear that weighed in at 112 pounds dressed.
The largest bear taken statewide on opening day was in Potter County.
Jonathan Byler, Ulysses, killed a 746-pound male.
In the area, Lindsay King of Hillsgrove killed a 594-pound male near that municipality.
This was the first year that the bear check station was set up at Wysox. In previous years, the station was at the Monroeton Rod and Gun Club.
“It’s a little better facility,” Lupinsky said when asked why the site was changed.