Monday, November 20, 2006

Pennsylvania Bear Season

Today was opening day of Pennsylvania’s state wide three day bear season. When I was young, bears in huntable numbers only existed in the northern most counties of the state. With the habitat changes and reintroduction efforts we now have a growing population of bears in nearly all rural areas.

Of all the game animals in Pennsylvania, only bear and deer must be hunted to control their numbers. Without hunting their population will grow beyond socially acceptable levels. Bears can cause considerable damage and can present a danger to the people who live with them. They will damage crops, orchards, bee hives, livestock, garbage cans and sometimes even homes. The hunting of them tends to remove the more aggressive animals who have less fear of humans thus reducing future conflicts

All bears legally harvested must be transported to a check station. There they are examined by Game Commission personnel. The bear is weighed, a tooth is removed, and hair and tissue samples are collected. The tooth will be examined later at the lab to determine the bears age.

A group of hunters arrived with what appears to be a bear family, a large sow along with two cubs. Although legal, I find the hunting down and killing an entire family of bears appalling.

A Game Commission Biologist interviews a successful hunter. The information he obtains will be entered into a data base. He will record time, date, and location of kill along with the hunter’s identification.

Once the check-in is complete a permanent tag is affixed to the animal identifying it as a legally harvested bruin.


Chad Oneil Myers said...

Yeah, I thought the "Dead Family" was very sad too. It's sad to see that many healthy bears dead in the back of a truck. Hopefully the population will maintain at a good number.

photowannabe said...

Thanks for the interesting information. I didn't realize that was done with bears. What an amazing part of the U.S. you live in. Your blog has taught me so much.

Anonymous said...

I understand the reasons but its still sad. They have bear hunting here for the same reasons. But a mama and her babies? :(