The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

December 16, 2012

Bear harvest numbers mixed

JOHNSTOWN — Bear season appears to have been a mixed bag in the region, with the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s preliminary harvest figures showing a big increase in the number of animals taken in Somerset County and a commensurate decline in the Cambria County kill.

Tentative totals for the four-day season in mid-November are 87 bears taken in Somerset County, 11 in Cambria, 19 in Indiana and 76 in Bedford.

Last year, Somerset County produced 85 bears, down from 83 a year before; Cambria’s kill was 35, up from 18 in 2010; Indians was 33 (43) and Bedford produced 55 (84).

Official numbers on this year’s kill won’t be available until early next year, but likely will be close to the preliminary figures.

Nevertheless, the numbers indicate the up-and-down nature of bear harvests. Tom Fazi at the Game Commision’s Southwest Region office in Bolivar, said the annual results are dependent on a wide variety of factors that are often not easy to pin down.

“I don’t know,” he said when asked about this year’s numbers.

“It was a bad weather year. I know the acorn crop was not what it should be, and the

bears weren’t in the traditional mountainous regions and on game lands. They were likely

in agricultural areas, where hunter access may not have been as good. And, with the Saturday opener, I’m just wondering if the casual bear hunter may not be going out again on Monday.

“I think if we had had better weather conditions and a better mast crop, we’d have had a great kill,” Fazi said.

“We certainly have the bears. They only killed 11 bears in all of Cambria County. That’s a drop in the bucket with how many bears that live in Cambria County. But, bear hunters are notorious for preseason scouting, and I think when they say the lack of mast, they went somewhere else to hunt.”

One Cambria County hunter who went elsewhere is Rob McCombie of Benshoff Hill, who has been a bear hunter for nearly 20 years.

“We hunt around Emporium, and the bear were there during the summer,” he said.

“There were sightings there all summer long, but the feed was just gone by the time bear season came. We were busting acorns open, and they were all rotted.

“We’ve been bear hunting long enough to know they will move 70 or 100 miles to find food. After not seeing anything on Saturday (the opener), we scouted on Sunday and found a place with good acorns. That’s where I missed a bear on Monday.”

McCombie agreed that there was no shortage of bears.

“This year, I think there’s just as many bear,” he said. “But, people see bear in the summer and go there and sit in bear season and don’t see anything. They don’t realize bear move with the food supply.

“I had a buddy who went up to a camp in Snowshoe and their group got six bear in two days. Somebody went up there and did their scouting and found there was a lot of food there, so thats where they hunted.”

Statewide, the four-day preliminary harvest was put at 2,639 bears.

Last year’s four-day total was 3,154, which sent the state’s hunters on their way to a eventual record kill of 4,350 once archery and extended-season kills were added.

Game Commission Press Secretary Jerry Feaser said

even if this year’s final figure is lower, it should not prove surprising.

“You don’t often follow a record harvest with another record harvest,” he said. “But right now, we only know the results of the four-day season. We added additional bear hunting in urbanized units. But, we can’t compare this year’s harvest with all of last year’s harvest because we don’t have all of this year’s harvest figures yet. We are still waiting for that.”

To read stories in their entirety, visit one of these links:

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Shelley and McElligot Series serves as reunion for former Chiefs personnel

    Not so long ago, Bob McElligott, like most Western Pennsylvania hockey fans, would savor a long Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run.
    The Somerset native followed the Pens’ Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malkin nearing return

    The Columbus Blue Jackets are the closest NHL team to the Pittsburgh Penguins, at least geographically. The two franchises are separated by 185 miles of highway.

    April 15, 2014

  • Reds swing way past Pirates

    Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.
    First, the NL Central rivals completed a game that was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain the previous night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pitt ends its spring practices

    No tailgating.
    No trip to a local high school.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pirates Game 1 0415 Pirates edge out Reds in suspended game

    After all those home runs and an overnight delay, it was settled by a single.
    Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin’s single in the seventh inning on Tuesday, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the completion of a game that spanned two days and 10 home runs.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • track_B1 WestPAC relays go to Windber boys, Berlin girls

    Rain showers and dropping temperatures put a damper on Monday’s WestPAC Relays at Berlin Brothersvalley High School.
    For the Berlin girls and the boys from Windber, however, discomfort was not much of a factor.
    The Mountaineers won their third straight relay title while the Ramblers reclaimed the title from defending champ Shade.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

  • Penguins 0414 Pressure on Penguins to capture Cup

    The statistics are gaudy.
    And if the Pittsburgh Penguins can’t find a way to extend their season into the final days of spring, ultimately forgettable.
    The same team that led the NHL in man games lost due to injury (more than 500) also earned 109 points, led the Metropolitan Division from mid-October on and received another peerless effort from star Sidney Crosby, who topped the league with 104 points and is a near lock for the second MVP award of his career.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local High School Baseball and Softball Briefs 4-15-14

    April 14, 2014

  • Local Sports Briefs 4-15-14

    April 14, 2014

  • horizontal hawks Fighting Falcons win playoff series against Tomahawks

    The third period of Game 3 of the NAHL North Division semifinal served as a quick primer of the Johnstown Tomahawks’ playoff fortunes against top-seeded Port Huron.
    Trailing by two goals going into the third, the Tomahawks ramped up the intensity, producing a goal early and a multitude of chances at an equalizer until the game’s final moments when goaltender Max Milosek stopped Jordan Watt’s breakaway try as the Cambria County War Memorial Arena’s horn sounded.

    April 12, 2014 2 Photos

AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide