Nearly 1,200 bears harvested before regular Pennsylvania hunting season officially begins

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It’s already been a good year for bear hunting.

While the primary hunting season won’t officially begin until this weekend, nearly 1,200 bears have been harvested in Pennsylvania. Last year, the state saw a record number of hunters hit the woods.

The 2021 regular firearms bear season will run for four days this year, starting on Nov. 20 and ending on Nov. 23. According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, this year’s hunt will provide hunters with the opportunity to hunt on a Sunday.

According to a post on the Pennsylvania Game Commission Facebook page, hunters must check a bear at a check station within 24 hours of harvesting the animal.

This year, 1,186 bears have already been harvested, Penn Live reports. These animals were harvested during early hunting seasons in the southeastern and southwestern portions of the state.

The number of hunters is expected to be higher this year as well. Last year, the state saw a record number of hunters hit the woods. A total of 220,471 people purchased bear licenses last year, which was an increase from 2019 – also a record year.

The numbers have significantly increased since the 2018 season.

The bear population in Pennsylvania continues to sit at higher than normal levels, however.

Bryan Burhans, executive director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, told Penn Live, “We’ve got many, many black bears, including some of the biggest in the country, spread across the Commonwealth and within reach of hunters everywhere. Plus, our various bear seasons give hunters the opportunity to pursue them in numerous ways throughout the fall.”

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