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Old June 15, 2014, 08:53 PM   #1
littlephil
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PA or WV?

A couple buddies and I are planning a black bear hunt for this fall and can't decide whether to hunt Pennsylvania or West Virginia. This is gonna be a diy hunt mostly for the experience and comerodery, but actually getting a bear or two would be nice too. From what I understand, the success rate in pa isn't real high for small groups that don't put on big drives. On the other hand, I haven't heard anything about wv bear hunting. We won't be using dogs or anything, just sitting or still hunting. Does anyone have any experience hunting bears in either state? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old June 16, 2014, 08:13 AM   #2
Gunplummer
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If it is a DIY hunt, I would think about PA. I deer hunt both states and think you have a better chance in PA. I may be wrong because the last 3-4 years there has been a special season coinciding with the first week of deer here. That thinned them out a little bit. I don't see as many "driveby" sightings as I used to. I did not look at the new Game Regulations yet, but if there are areas open the first week of deer, that gets them moving. I don't hunt bear, just live in an area with them. I figure I have enough cholesterol problems without "Bear cracklins" and greasy steaks.
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Old June 16, 2014, 10:47 AM   #3
CleanDean
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BLACK BEARS? There have been so many sightings in the South of Allegheny Co. Pa. (hard to count them all in the past 4 yrs.)
Makes me think the have come out of the hills & woods for a Primanti Bros, Sandwich.
10 Days ago ....3.5 miles away from me , a black bear ran across a heavily traveled road .& captured on " COP-CAM"
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Old June 16, 2014, 11:01 AM   #4
buck460XVR
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Have you hunted Bears before? Not using dogs means either baiting or extensive scouting. Sitting in a random stand waiting for a bear to go by, generally is not a ticket for success, regardless of state or bear densities. Extensive scouting or baiting, either means having close access to the area before season and spending a lot of time there or paying a guide to do it for you.

If you are an experienced bear hunter....you already know this.
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Old June 16, 2014, 11:36 AM   #5
ligonierbill
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I don't know about WV, but best not be caught hunting over bait in PA. Yes, scouting is a must. But it's going to be a low odds deal. We hunt in an area with a relatively high number of bears (Clinton County), and a few have been shot by camp members, but not many. Last one seen, but not bagged, showed up on the back porch while the crew was cooking supper. Cook opened the door to find it on its hind legs looking him in the eye. Reportedly "squealed like a girl" (the cook). Bear high tailed it. I can't say which State will give you a better chance, but good luck and have fun.
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Old June 16, 2014, 02:46 PM   #6
buck460XVR
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Further searching shows that baiting for bears is illegal in both WV or PA. This means finding a good stand will take extensive scouting or knowledge of an area or just pure luck. I would make sure I got a deer tag also.
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Old June 16, 2014, 07:26 PM   #7
littlephil
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Thanks for the replies so far. We've never hunted bear before, but we're all pretty familiar with hunting in general and deer in particular. I think we're leaning towards Wv because, between the areas we've looked at, it's a shorter trip and the deer and bear gun seasons run parallel (as long as I read it correctly). Like I said before, it's mostly gonna be a trip for the experience and for something different. It's mostly just to have some time to spend that'll be just us three because I only get to see them twice a year at most. One is stationed in Texas with the army and the other is in Michigan with the Coast Guard. We will get to spend a day or two next month scouting the area we choose to hunt. I know it's not much, but it's better than nothing I guess. Keep the advice coming, nothing is set in stone yet.
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Old June 19, 2014, 12:33 AM   #8
thekyrifleman
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Just a note, dogs are also illegal in PA, as is baiting. Get caught and they will throw the book at you!!
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Old June 25, 2014, 10:56 PM   #9
Antique Shooter
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I live and hunt in South Central PA, ( Franklin, Cumberland, Adams, and Huntington Counties). Over the years, there has been a steady increase in bear numbers. I have been hunting bears specifically for the last 6 years and have not been able to get one. The counties I hunt are not known for high populations of bears though. I have gotten trail cam picks of a few and some have been killed pretty close to where I hunt them.

Check out the PA Game Commission website, they have break downs of harvest for the last few years by county or WMU. There is also a great PA hunting forum that may be of use to you. I don't know if I am allowed to say on here or not so PM me if you want the name of it.

You better help me out with some Ohio deer hunting! LOL

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Old June 26, 2014, 07:05 AM   #10
mete
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My county , Sullivan NY took 430 last year but there are still too many so it looks like they'll have an early Sept season + the normal Nov season.
In th e past there were normally two cubs per sow ,now 4 or 5 is getting more common [ PA game commission ].
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Old June 26, 2014, 08:26 AM   #11
coldbeer
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West Virginia black bear are tiny. Pennsylvania black bear are the biggest in the country. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
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Old June 26, 2014, 11:05 AM   #12
mete
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Coldbeer , 900 lbs is big ?? It only took 11 guys to drag it out !! That was in the Pocono Mtns , south of me.
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Old June 27, 2014, 05:37 PM   #13
littlephil
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Thanks for the responses. From what I hear, there are guys who live in pa and have been hunting bears there who have yet to even see one on a hunt. We're not really looking for huge bears (there's only going to be 3 of us to drag one). I haven't looked at the dates recently, is the bear season in pa open at the same time as the deer season?
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Old June 30, 2014, 10:04 AM   #14
coldbeer
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Bear are elusive critters that's why they hunt them with dogs and shoot them out of trees. I always get a chuckle when people ask about bear protection in the lower 48. Chances are you won't see a bear an if you do it's going to be more afraid of you than you are of it.
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Old June 30, 2014, 10:53 PM   #15
littlephil
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That's pretty much what I figured. The way I see it, I'll be tickled pink if we just get a couple deer to bring back. I'll just be glad to get out and do something a little different for a change.
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