Hunters will head to the woods on this weekend for the opening of the state’s bear archery and muzzleloader seasons.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission believes black-bear hunters could set a new state record this year. The current record is 4,653 bears harvested last year.
Officials say Pennsylvania’s woods have maintained a bear population of around 20,000 over the past five years. Last year, bears were taken in 58 of the state’s 67 counties.
Those planning to bear hunt this weekend in Pennsylvania will need a general hunting license, as well as a bear license. Hunting licenses can be purchased online, but bear licenses contain harvest ear tags that are sent by mail. Those who have waited until the last minute are advised to make a trip to an authorized licensing agent to get set up.
Bear hunters must wear a minimum of 250 square inches of fluorescent orange material visible from all sides on the head, chest and back at all times. It is illegal to use baits and lures in bear hunting.