Bear Harvest Tops 2010
Inside the Outdoors, Ddecember 2
, 2011

According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission statistics, the black bear harvest the first day of the season statewide yielded more bears killed than in the previous year.

At the present, only a preliminary count could be made, but the information collected revealed 1,936 black bears in 52 counties were harvested as compared to 1,751 the previous year.

The rifle season on bruins is the second highest first-day harvest in Pennsylvania history. The top first-day bear harvest occurred in 2005, when the PGC logged in 2,026 bruins to the bear-check stations. Other first day harvest totals were 1,897 in 2009; 1,725 in 2008; 1,005 in 2007; 1,461 in 2006; 2,026 in 2005; 1,573 in 2004; 2,454 in 2003; 1, 348 in 2002; 1,812 in 2001 and 1,691 in 2000.

The top bear harvest county in the state on the first day of the season was Potter County with 585 animals killed.

Regionally, the Northcentral area top the list of harvests with 993 bruins harvested. The Northeast region followed with 278 bears harvested; third was the northwest part of the state; fourth, the Sourthwest region with 176 taken; fifth, Southcentral with 161; and sixth, south east with 31 animals harvested.

The tope 11 bears processed at check stations on Monday all had estimated live weights that exceeded 591 pounds.

Jonathan E. Byler, of Ulysses, took the largest bear: a male weighing 746 pounds (estimated live weight) taken in Ulysses, Potter County, at 1:45 p.m. Saturday.

During the second day of the four-day black bear season, an additional 773 black bear were harvested. Last year, 2,542 bears were brought to the Game commission check stations after two days of hunting that also included a Saturday opener.


Fishing reports have indicated that stocked trout are being caught at area lakes. These included Keystone State Park, Twin, Donegal, Mammoth Dam and Laurel Hill State Park. Also, word has it that pike are being caught at High Point and Yellow Creek State Park Lake in Indiana County and Keystone Lake in Cambria County. Sportsmen at Somerset Lake in Somerset County have been catching largemouth bass. One angler received an adrenaline rush when he watched a musky follow in one of his lures, but unfortunately it didn’t take it.


Finally, I had a nice talk with Rich Kacsuta, owner of the Loyalhanna Fishing Post, in Ligonier. He always has something to share and last week was no exception.

It seems that an energetic, young lady accompanied by her grandfather walked into the shop recently to share her story with the entrepreneur.

Ligonier resident, Morgan Eslary,13, daughter of Christa Graham and Eric Eslary, was treated to a trip to Walnut Creek near Erie, Nov. 10, by her grandfather, Curly “Butch” Mazzareio, also of Ligonier. It seems the two had entertained the idea of visiting Rich’s store to buy some bait before heading north. What the two decided to purchase was Berkeley’s Orange Power Bait. It was then out into the vehicle and off to that well known fishing area.

To make a long story short, the youngster hooked into a prize fish, an 11 ½ pound,

30 ½ - inch steelhead trout which she not only landed, but brought back to show Kacsuta at his store. That was the first fish of its kind she had ever caught.

One can only imagine her smiles from ear to ear, not to mention the rest of her family’s, as well. Even her grandmother said, “That was a really big fish!” Rich has a picture of it posted at his shop.


Looking forward to some deer stories to publish. Heard tell that there are some mighty fine large-antlered deer living up on the ridge. You know, your story could appear in next week’s column. Just detail the facts and email then to me.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.