2011-11-24 / Front Page

7 Bears Taken Opening Day Of Season

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Just like a bowl of porridge, the weather was “just right” for local sportsmen who headed to the woods Saturday for the opener of the four-day statewide bear season.

Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) Kevin Mountz told the “News” the pressure from hunters was not as great as it has been in years past, but there can be no doubt that there are bears available here for the harvesting.

“The key to sighting them is finding natural feeding areas,” said Mountz, who is stationed in Fulton County as well as in a portion of neighboring Franklin County. “Once in those areas, still hunting rarely produces results. Bears mostly feed at nighttime and lounge during the day in thick cover.”

“The key to success is constantly beating the brush. It’s hard work, but any successful bear hunter will tell you that it’s worth the time and effort,” the officer added.

At the close of the season opener on Saturday, November 19, Mountz reported a total of 52 bears were checked-in at the Sideling Hill Bureau of Forestry building. Of those numbers, five were harvested in Fulton County.

The bears were harvested at various locations throughout the county, including one on the Kerper tract; two adjacent to the Kerper tract on private property; one near the Sideling Hill plaza; and one in Deep Hollow near the stone house on Mountain House Road.

An additional two bears were brought in during Sunday’s extended check-in station hours as being killed locally Saturday, bringing the opening day tally to seven bears killed.

The Game Commission announced this week the first-day 2011 preliminary harvest of 1,936 is comparable to 1,751 bears in 2010, which also coincidentally opened on a Saturday.

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