The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

November 21, 2012

Bob Garett's Talking Points notebook: Bear hunting update

"While in my tree stand deep in the woods, I feel twenty feet closer to God."

Better than halfway through this week's statewide four-day bear season a preliminary harvest of 2,442 bears has been recorded, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Last year's season resulted in a total harvest of 3,038 bears so it seems that this year's harvest, during near perfect weather, will be on par with past years.

The preliminary third-day bear harvest stats from our area are: 223 bears in Wildlife Management Unit 4D, which includes western Union and western Snyder counties; in Unit 4E, covering most of the remainder of Union and Snyder counties and all of Northumberland and Montour counties, 35 bears have been harvested.

In Wildlife Management Unit 2G just to the north of our valley the state's largest harvest of 592 bears has been recorded. The largest bear processed at check stations, so far, had an estimated live weight of 706 pounds and was taken in Pike County by James Weisbord of Quakertown. Barry Zimmerman of Loysville in Perry County harvested, near his home, the 10th heaviest bear so far this season, weighing in at 557 pounds. So far, the county-by-county harvests are: Lycoming, 239; Union, 59; Perry, 23; Columbia, 18; Northumberland, 8; and Snyder, 7. This year's four-day bear season wrapped up Wednesday. Hunters with an unfilled bear license may participate in the extended bear seasons that run concurrent with all or portions of the first week of the firearm deer season. For those deer hunters who didn't purchase a bear license earlier, but will be hunting in areas where the extended bear season is being held, bear license sales will reopen today and run through this Sunday.

Attacking WCO is criminal

There's a "narrow green line" in the woods of Pennsylvania that is made up of wildlife and waterways conservation officers and their deputies, and their most critical task is to keep everyone safe and insure that the principles of a "fair chase" are followed. A new law goes into effect on Dec. 23 that increases the penalties for assaulting one of these officers. The new law, known as Act 150 of 2012, changes the maximum penalty for anyone convicted of assaulting a conservation officer to a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 40 years in prison. This is the same penalty for assaulting any other law enforcement official, elected official, personnel of the court, teacher or psychiatric aide.

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