By John Hayes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The final tally won't be in for a couple of months, but the Pennsylvania Game Commission's preliminary bear count lists 224 taken during the state's first five-day archery bear season; 2,815 were killed during the three-day November season.
The early count totals 3,039 bears taken in 53 counties. That's down from 2005's record harvest of 4,164.
Bear management includes getting detailed data from successful hunters. Cal DuBrock, the agency's wildlife management director, said new technologies introduced this year kept the lines down at bear check stations, but it's something they're still working on.
"In that regard, we are headed in the right direction, as the lines at bear check stations moved much quicker this year for the hunters," he said, in a written statement. "The current number and distribution of bear check stations put virtually every successful hunter within a one-hour drive of a check station. We're already looking at ways to improve the process and expedite the release of harvest data next year."
No official skull-size measurement yet of Bozo, the 875-pound donut-eating quasi-pet legally killed with archery gear Nov. 15 in Monroe County. But the 772-pound (estimated live weight) bear shot by Randy Chabol of Somerset was the biggest killed during the regular three-day season. It was a male taken in Larimer Township, Somerset County, Nov. 20.
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