2009-12-03 / Front Page

Sixteen Bears Harvested In Fulton County

Chambersburg man kills third-largest bear in commonwealth
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Joseph Weisen of Warfordsburg bagged his first black bear last Monday afternoon while hunting near his home in Union Township. Weisen was one of 16 lucky hunters to harvest bears in Fulton County during the three-day season that ended November 25. Joseph Weisen of Warfordsburg bagged his first black bear last Monday afternoon while hunting near his home in Union Township. Weisen was one of 16 lucky hunters to harvest bears in Fulton County during the three-day season that ended November 25. Local sportsman Joseph Weisen knows a bit about irony.

In 2008, Weisen regularly spotted black bears over a two-week time frame prior to the three-day hunting season. Once the season opened, however, the frequent sightings dropped abruptly to nil.

Jumping ahead to 2009, the avid hunter became so intent on harvesting a black bear he booked a 2010 trip to Maine where guides guarantee a successful hunt.

“It’s ironic that after I book a trip to kill my first black bear, I take one here at home in Fulton County,” Weisen, 60, told the “News.”

Weisen, a retired executive with Johnson & Johnson who has called southern Fulton County his full-time residence the last five years, stated he spent much time this year with bow and arrow scouring the area off Rice Road that is near state forestlands. His scouting would again lead him back to a cornfield near his tree stand, where he would successfully harvest a 205-pound male bear during the afternoon hours on November 23.

According to Weisen, he had gone to his tree stand first thing opening day and left briefly to run some chores in Berkeley Springs. Upon returning after 3 p.m., Weisen stated he was walking along Rice Road when he spotted a bear.

“He stood up in the field. His head looked like a periscope looking out over top of the corn,” said Weisen, who was unable to get a clear shot and sprinted to his tree stand. Sure that the bear had run away, Weisen still stood steadfast for an hour watching a variety of wildlife ranging from doves and squirrels go in and out of the field.

The Warfordsburg area man’s patience paid off when the bear walked directly out of the corn field toward the stand. His adventure was not over as Weisen found himself trekking from Union Township to the Sideling Hill weigh-in station with his newly harvested bear.

Never having visited the station, Weisen was amazed at the large group of people waiting to catch a glimpse of a bear. He assumed the long line was to check in harvested bear.

“I never expected such a crowd,” Weisen said of the group that crowded around his vehicle to hear his tale and see his very first bear.

Weisen’s bear was one of 16 that were taken in Fulton County during the season that spanned November 23 through November 25. The largest, of course, being a 644-pound bruin taken in Todd Township last Monday morning by Travis L. Crouse of Chambersburg.

Crouse’s kill, at this time, is the third-largest bear taken in the commonwealth in 2009, outshined only by a mere 10 pounds. The bear is also the largest ever checked in at the Sideling Hill check station since its opening in 1998.

Other bears harvested locally, according to tentative information released by the Pennsylvania Game Commission include:

238-pound (live weight) male, Belfast Township (Nov. 23)

176-pound male, Brush Creek Township (Nov. 23)

297-pound male, Licking Creek Township (Nov. 23)

146-pound male, Licking Creek Township (Nov. 23)

201-pound female, Thompson Township (Nov. 23)

165-pound female, Todd Township (Nov. 23)

63-pound female, Wells Township (Nov. 23)

87-pound male, Wells Township (Nov. 23)

87-pound female, township unknown (Nov. 23)

212-pound female, Wells Township (Nov. 24).

Of the 16 harvested bears, one was a juvenile male and six were adult males. Three were categorized as juvenile females and two as adult females. Designations for the remaining four bears were unavailable.

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