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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I have a hunting cabin in Clearfield County Pa. I wanted to see if anyone was interested in coming bear hunting and possibly deer hunting up here in Pa. with us...
our place is a 3 bedroom rancher with hot running water and satelite tv and full kitchen. we are located in the middle of the 140,000 acre Moshannon State Forrest in Northern Clearfield County. We usually post up the first day and drive the next 2. the pic at the bottom is from 2001 last day last hour of the season. Im basically looking for guys that dont mind driving/pushing for bear. We typically end up with 14-18 guys meeting at my place tuesday morning to push for bear.I like to keep things well organized when where pushing to maximize our efforts. My place will hold about 12 comfortabley but as of now there is 5 of us. Im looking for maybe 4 more guys to join us. We charge $100 per person for 5 nights and thats just to cover taxes and such. we do not ever make money taking in hunters but I have made alot of friends. We all basically chip in for food and take turns with the cooking and such. We have a pretty good time at camp so if anyones really interested i can be reached on at [email protected]

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
some years we get the bear some years the bear get us...:D

seriously though we should be good for at least 1 but i dont ever want to jinx ourselves...sometimes 2

statewide average is 1 bear per 33 hunters

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Release #126-05


HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission officials believe the state's three-day black bear season, which opens Nov. 21, should provide great hunting opportunities, has the potential to be one of the state's best ever, and surely will produce some exceptionally-large bears. However, in order to participate in the statewide three-day season or extended bear season in specific Wildlife Management Units (WMUs), hunters must purchase the general hunting license and bear licenses prior to Nov. 28.

"Barring poor weather that would limit hunter or bear movements, there's always a chance Pennsylvania's bear hunters will set a new bear harvest record, especially since the extended bear season has been added to the fall hunting schedule of several Wildlife Management Units," noted Vern Ross, Game Commission executive director. "The Commonwealth's bear population has been between 14,000 and 15,000 for the past three years. The record harvest was set in 2000, when hunters took 3,075 bears. In 2004, hunters took 2,972 bears.

"For four of the past five years, Pennsylvania's bear harvests have hovered around 3,000. The large harvests are a product of more counties becoming consistent bear producers, even those in the outlying areas of the state capital, such as Dauphin and Lebanon counties. These growing or developing - and often under-hunted - populations in the state's peripheral bear range, coupled with the increased pressure provided by extended seasons, are helping to sustain Pennsylvania's annual bear harvests at their current historic pace."

Pennsylvania forests have the ability to support an even larger bear population, noted Mark Ternent, Game Commission black bear biologist.

"However, in some areas, residents are unwilling to tolerate the conflicts that typically occur when bear numbers increase, which is why hunting seasons have been expanded in some areas," Ternent said. "Interestingly, increasing the hunting pressure on some local bear populations hasn't hurt Pennsylvania's bear hunting. Strong bear populations remain in Pennsylvania's primary bear range, which stretches east across the state's northcentral and northeastern counties to the New Jersey state line. Substantial populations also continue to build in counties such as Fayette, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Schuylkill, Somerset and Westmoreland."

The Commonwealth's six largest black bear harvests - all exceeding 2,500 bears - have occurred over the past seven years. Prior to 1983, the state's annual bear harvests never exceeded 1,000. Pennsylvania has held annual bear seasons in every year but four since 1905. Those four years when bear seasons were closed were: 1934, 1970, 1977 and 1978.

"If you're a hunter, it's not hard to get yourself into bear country in Pennsylvania nowadays," pointed out Ternent. "Bears were taken in 51 of the state's 67 counties last year. Look for areas with good mast and then scout for bear sign. Don't overlook pockets of thick cover in areas where hunting pressure will be substantial. In areas where there is limited pressure, try to position yourself between feeding and resting areas, early and late in the day, and still hunt thickets during late morning and early afternoon hours."

Most Game Commission field officers who work in counties with established bear populations report that hunting should be good to excellent.

In Lycoming County, which led the state in bear harvest in 2004, Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) Kris Krebs reported, "Bears, bears and more bears. Black bears are being seen in great numbers. Hunters should expect outstanding hunting opportunities on both public and private lands."

In Jefferson County, WCO Roger Hartless said, "I think it's safe to say that bear numbers probably have never been this high here."

Somerset County WCO Travis Anderson said, "The best way to describe the bear population this year is that bears are everywhere. Bear complaints have been coming in nonstop since early April. People have seen the largest number of bears around State Game Lands (SGLs) 26, 42 and 228."

In some cases, field officers are urging hunters to visit their districts. In Venango County, WCO Clint Deniker said, "Bear sightings have increased in almost every corner of the county. While hunters traditionally hunt the big woods areas of northcentral Pennsylvania, hunters should consider taking advantage of the bear population in Venango County. The bear population could easily withstand two to three times the hunting pressure we experienced in 2004. Hunters should concentrate their efforts in large tracts of woods that contain mast crops, such as acorns and beechnuts. Bear hunters will continue to be successful hunting in groups and using drives to move the bear to other hunters."

Elk County WCO Dick Bodenhorn said, "As bear populations have expanded into more areas of the state, fewer hunters come to these more remote mountainous areas to hunt. The result? Most of these bears don't even know they're being hunted. If we had sufficient hunting pressure, this county could be one of the most productive bear hunting areas in the state."

In Huntingdon County, Land Management Group Supervisor (LMGS) Robert A. Einodshofer got right to the point, "What can I say? Bears are everywhere. Stay south this year. Any State Game Land in the county is a good bet."

Not every field officer considered the upcoming season to be a great opportunity. Pike County WCO Bob Johnson said, "With the increased opportunities provided to bear hunters over the past couple years, complaints in Pike County are a fraction of what they were traditionally."

Acorns are one of the staple foods for bear in the fall. In some areas of the state, apples, corn, beechnuts, or other soft-mast fruits are important. Hunters are encouraged to scout for areas with good food conditions. Ternent said fall foods appear to be very abundant this year.

"According to a survey of field personnel in the Game Commission and state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, almost all berry-producing plants had average or better crops this year, despite dry conditions late in the summer. More importantly, though, acorn crops are being rated as above average across most of the state. This abundance of food will compel bears to stay on the move and out of dens."

Ternent expects Pennsylvania hunters to take 2,500 to 3,000 bears, and maybe even slightly more if weather is ideal for hunting, especially since the extended area has been expanded further for this fall.

"The extended season will be open to hunters in five WMUs this fall compared to two WMUs and portions of three others in 2004," Ternent said. "That amounts to an increase in hunting area from about 6,600 square miles in 2004, to 10,300 square miles in 2005."

Hunters took 547 bears in the 2004 extended season, compared to 149 in 2003, and 174 in 2002. The hunting area for the extended bear increased annually over this three-year period. This year's extended season will run from Nov. 28 to Dec. 3 in WMUs 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C and 4E.

"We'd like to see hunters remove 20 percent of the bear population in the upcoming seasons, or about 3,000 bears, to meet our current bear management objective," Ternent added.

In 2004, the top bear harvests by WMU were WMU 2G, 632 (718 in 2003); WMU 3D, 419 (413); WMU 3B, 321 (298); WMU 4C, 278 (119); and WMU 4D, 247 (317).

Top counties in the 2004 bear harvest were Lycoming, 244 (202 in 2003); Clinton, 218 (193); Pike, 155 (147); Luzerne, 138 (103); Wayne, 135 (130); Tioga, 119 (156); and McKean, 103 (129).

In 2004, hunters took 56 bears - including 14 in the extended season - that weighed 500 pounds or more. It compares with 70 in 2003 and 41 in 2002. Ternent, as well as field officers, report hunters can expect to find more big bears when they head afield this fall.

"Bears weighing 800 pounds are uncommon, but two years ago, hunters took three in the state," Ternent said. "Only six have been recorded by the agency over the past 25 years. Hunters consistently take large bears annually in the Commonwealth. In fact, few states do it as routinely as Pennsylvania. So there's always a chance to be one of those lucky hunters who takes a huge black bear. On average, about 30 bears weighing 500 pounds or more are taken each year across the state.

"Two factors greatly influence a bear's size, the availability of food and the bear having a chance to get older. If I were after a big bear, I'd look for good food conditions and low hunting pressure."

Tioga County WCO Rodney Mee said, "A man who shot a 485-pound bear near Hills Creek State Park last year reported that he saw a much larger bear one week later during deer season. Big bears also have been spotted in the Baldwin Run Road area of the Tioga State Forest."

Last year, a record 132,181 hunters bought Pennsylvania bear licenses. In 2003, 123,911 hunters purchased bear licenses. Expanded bear hunting opportunities are believed to have spurred more hunters to purchase a bear license, as well as increased reports of bear sightings in secondary bear range throughout the state.

Bear licenses must be purchased at any issuing agency, including online, prior to the opening day of the firearms deer season, Nov. 28.

For those who already purchased their general hunting license, they can add a bear license by purchasing it through "The Outdoor Shop" on the Game Commission's website ( Click on "Licenses," then select the type of general hunting license you already possession and click the "Next" buttonm at the bottom of the page. On the next screen, fill in the information and then select "Bear" from the "Stamp Information" section and fill in your current backtag number from your general hunting license and click "Next" at the bottom of the page. When you go to the end of the process, you will only be charged for a bear license, and you will be provided with a web order number that must be written on the current general hunting license and signed.


Hunters who harvest a bear in Pennsylvania must take it to one of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's check stations within 24 hours. All check stations will be in operation from noon to 8 p.m. on Nov. 21 and 22; and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 23. In the past, check stations were open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Hours of operation have been reduced because of budgetary constraints.

After 6 p.m. on Nov. 23, hunters with bears to be checked should contact any of the Game Commission's region offices for assistance. Office telephone numbers are listed on page 3 of the 2005-06 Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which are issued with hunting licenses.

Bears taken during the extended season (Nov. 28-Dec. 3), also must be taken to a check station. The stations that are open and hours of operation differ from the regular season, so be sure to consult page 39 the 2005-06 Digest, which is provided to every hunting license buyer. The Digest also may be accessed electronically by visiting the agency's website (


Pennsylvania Game Commission officials noted that one of the biggest mistakes bear hunters make is failing to locate areas with good fall food supplies - acorns, beechnuts, corn - before the hunting season and overlooking areas of dense cover where bears like to hide.

"Signs to look for while scouting include droppings; bedding areas, which are scratched out depressions, usually at the base of a tree or log; and active trails with tracks," said Mark Ternent, Game Commission black bear biologist. "In beech stands, look for fresh claw marks on tree trunks indicating that bears are feeding in the area, and in oak stands look for fresh droppings that are almost completely composed of acorns bits. Either of these signs suggest bears are feeding nearby and, if food conditions are right, they will likely still be there come hunting season.

"A good time to scout is early November, so you can assess local mast conditions. When mast conditions are spotty, finding a good area dramatically increases your odds of also finding a bear."

Land Management Group Supervisor (LMGS) John Dzemyan, who works in Elk and McKean counties, said, "Some basic tips to find and harvest a bear are to hunt thick areas with lots of mast, especially acorns, nearby. Hunt areas where plenty of bear hunters move about, which, in turn, moves the bears about. Hunt the whole day, hunt all three days if possible, and hope for good weather."

Other bear hunting tips include:

- Look for bears in the thickest cover you can find, such as: swamps and bogs; mountain laurel/rhododendron thickets; north-facing slopes; regenerating timber harvest areas, areas with lots of wind-thrown trees, and some river bottoms. Bigger bears are notorious for holding in thick cover even when hunters p [no swearing please] nearby.

- Organized drives are effective. Hunters working together often increase their odds of taking bears, especially those bears holding out in thick cover. Develop plans to drive likely bear hideouts and follow them to the letter. A minor slip-up by a driver, flanker or stander is all a bear needs to elude even the best-laid plans. As with any drive, it is important to know where each member of the drive is and that everyone keep safety first and foremost in mind. Regulations limit the size of organized drives to 25 people or less.

- Hunting on-stand early and late in the day gives hunters a great chance to catch bears traveling to and from natural feeding and bedding areas. Hunt areas that provide cover to traveling bears and ensure there are either feeding or bedding areas near where you plan to hunt.

- Use the wind to your advantage. If a bear gets a whiff of you, you're busted as a hunter. Bears have an outstanding sense of smell. They often let their noses guide the way as they travel. Always place yourself downwind of the bear when hunting on-stand or driving. Bears are cagey enough without giving them more advantages.

- Stay focused and assume nothing. Black bears blend in well in forest settings at dawn and as dusk approaches. Blink or spend too much time looking one way and you can miss a bear. Even though bears are quite heavy, they often are surprisingly quiet moving through the forest. You may see a bear before you hear it coming. Staying alert and remaining vigilant are critical.


Every year, Pennsylvania Game Commission field officers offer "where-to-go" information to help hunters get closer to bears. Generally, they direct people to state-owned lands with bear populations that can accommodate increases in hunting pressure. The following briefs offer where-to-go information for bear hunters looking for somewhere to go. Remember, though, State Game Lands make up less than six percent of the state and bears were taken in 51 of the state's 67 counties last year, so bears are found throughout the Commonwealth.

Blair County: The Sinking Valley area, ridges overlooking Duncansville, Altoona, Bellwood, Tipton, Tyrone and Bald Eagle all remain excellent for bear hunting. - WCO Steve Hanczar

Clearfield County: SGLs 77, 87 and 93, and the area around Parker Dam State Park all hold good populations of bears. - WCO Dave Stewart

Columbia County: Bear hunting will be good in the townships comprising SGLs 58 and 329, the Roaring Creek tract of the Weiser State Forest, and areas near the Northumberland and Schuylkill county lines. - WCO John Morack

Forest County: Hunters should check out the following areas for bears: SGL 24; SGL 28 in the area of Spring Creek; areas north and west of Marienville; and along Tionesta Creek, off Route 166 from Lynch to Mayburg. - WCO Mario Piccirilli

Indiana County: Bear populations are excellent, especially on SGLs 153, 79, 276 and 273. Many bear complaints also come from the White Township area. - WCO Jack Lucas

Potter County: Bear activity was again frequent in the Cherry Springs area and hunters should have successful hunts in areas such as the West Branch of Pine Creek, just north of Cherry Springs, east to Straight Ridge, west to Rock Run Road and south to the Alabama trail. - WCO Denise Mitcheltree

Venango County: Bears have been routinely seen on SGL 39 and SGL 96. - WCO Clint Deniker

Wayne County: Bear hunters will find excellent hunting on SGL 159, SGL 70 and SGL 299. - WCO Frank Dooley


- A successful bear hunter must complete all information on his or her bear harvest tag and attach it to the ear of the animal immediately after harvest and before the carc [no swearing please] is moved. In addition, within 24 hours, hunters who kill a bear must take it, along with their general hunting and bear licenses, to a Game Commission check station for examination. Bear check stations are maintained at the agency's six regional offices and at other locations listed on page 39 in the 2005-06 Pennsylvania Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest.

- Once a hunter has used his or her bear harvest tag, it is unlawful to possess it in the field. Also, hunters are reminded to remove old licenses from their holder before placing a new one in it. If you keep an old license in the holder, you may accidentally use it to tag big game and unintentionally violate the law.

- It is unlawful to kill a bear in a den; use a radio to locate a bear that has a radio transmitter attached to it; hunt on areas where artificial or natural bait, hay, grain, fruit, nuts, salt, chemicals, minerals, including residue or other foods are used, or have been used, as an enticement to lure wildlife within the past 30 days; use scents or lures; or to hunt bears in a party of more than 25 persons.

- Bear hunters are required to wear 250 square inches of fluorescent orange on their head, chest and back combined, visible 360 degrees, while bear hunting.

- Bears may be hunted with: manually-operated center-fire rifles, handguns and shotguns with an all-lead bullet or ball, or a bullet designed to expand on impact - buckshot is illegal; muzzle-loading long guns 44-caliber or larger; long, recurve or compound bows or crossbows with broadheads of cutting-edge design. Crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 125 pounds and cannot exceed 200 pounds.

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
that hunting club your refering to actually owns part of the ground my grandparents used to own many years ago!

the ground your talking about runs the length of RT. 255 north into weedville....

i know almost everyone up there so we probably have a mutual friend!:)
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