Local Black Bear Harvest Average
A fixture among Fulton County's sportsmen for approximately 20 years, Lynn Rotz considers himself fortunate. The 55-yearold Franklin County resident has not only harvested two black bears in Wells Valley, but, ironically enough, both were taken in the exact same spot.
Rotz of 670 Bowman Road, Chambersburg, was the lone hunter to check in a locally killed bear with Pennsylvania Game Commission officials last Tuesday at the Sideling Hill Bureau of Forestry facility, bringing the county's tentative bear kill count to nine. Results from the final day of the three-day season ending November 26 are not yet available.
According to Rotz, the female bear, tipping the scales at 230 pounds, sauntered by his location in Wells Township at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, November 24. Unfortunately, for Rotz, his initial shot only wounded the bear and chased it deeper into the woods.
"I wounded it so gave it a little time before I started tracking," said Rotz, who joked he practically tracked the bear "barefooted" for a good one-half mile after discovering his hunting boots had fallen victim to dry rot.
The blood trail, Rotz noted, led into a thick briar patch, where he found the wounded bear lying. When his shouts didn't rouse the bear's attention, Rotz took the next logical step in securing his harvested bear. That first step into the briars, however, caused the bear to charge at Rotz, who managed to fire off several more shots. Down to his last shell, Rotz called to his hunting partner and used rocks to flush the bear from its hiding spot.
By 7 p.m., long after nightfall, and with some help from his sonin law, Rotz managed to drag the 230-pound bear back to his campsite. "I was so exhausted I couldn't move," recalled Rotz. "That last 50 feet was the worst because the ground was totally flat before we hit a slight grade."
Meanwhile, McConnellsburg resident Darrel Seville took to the field Monday morning for his very first bear season. An avid hunter, Seville's hopes of harvesting his first black bear were soon met when he killed a 142- pound male bear in the Big Cove Tannery area of Ayr Township.
The Seville family told to the "News" the bear's history of repeatedly making itself a nuisance in neighboring Maryland has earned Darrel an almost "rock star" status for its harvest. Causing a ruckus in the southern part of Maryland, the state's Department of Natural Resources moved the bear to the western section of the state. The bear, the Sevilles stated, was then most recently relocated to Indian Springs State Park, which is a 6,400-acre tract in Washington County near the town of Clear Spring.
With Rotz's and Seville's bears checked in Tuesday, the initial two-day standings show four bears harvested in Wells Township; three in Licking Creek Township; one in Ayr Township; and one in Dublin Township. In 2007, black bear hunters harvested a total of seven bears in Fulton County over the threeday period.
Game Commission preliminary reports indicate 2,518 bears were taken during the first two days of hunting statewide this year. Through Tuesday, the top 10 bears processed at check stations had estimated live weights exceeding 600 pounds. Morgan C. Neipert of Tobyhanna killed the largest bear, a male bruin with an estimated live weight of 716 pounds. The bear was taken in Tobyhanna Township located in Monroe County last Tuesday afternoon.
In the southcentral region, two-day harvest results were recorded as follows Huntingdon County, 96; Bedford County, 69; Mifflin County, 35; Snyder County, 24; Blair County, 23; Juniata County, 17; and Perry County, 11.