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Old February 20, 2019, 10:02 AM   #1
std7mag
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PA Bear regulation changes..

The PA Game Commission has estimated that there are 20,000 black bears in the state.
And are upset about the lower harvest last year, than the previous. (3,100 for 2018 vs 3,400 for 2017. numbers rounded)
So PA is looking at extending the seasons, and making them come in earlier. (before bears go to den).

Most of PA black bear hunting is done by drives. And I'm fine with that.

What I'm not fine with is the shooting of sows and cubs. Or rather sows with cubs.
Guy sees mom, and shoots her, leaving his buddies to shoot the cubs.
This can be seen by looking at the boards at the check stations, word of mouth from hunters here, and pics of taxidermy cubs online.
Board will say "300lb sow, followed by 50lb male/female".

There has to be a better way, than the eradication mentality that exists now.

Any advise that I can share with my Game Commission?

Thanks!

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Old February 22, 2019, 12:00 AM   #2
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Maybe split the season Into an early and late season. I don't know.

You know. Kind of like spring and fall turkey. As far as keeping people from killing sows with Cubs or sows and Cubs. I am not sure that's really pheasable. There would be plenty of cases where Cubs were not visible. Or how would the Hunter know for sure that there were no Cubs nearby
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Old February 22, 2019, 12:18 AM   #3
big al hunter
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Is it legal to bait bears there? It makes it easier to pass on a sow with cubs. You don't feel the need to shoot the first bear you see, because the bait stations usually have multiple bears using it. Suggestions could be extended seasons that are bait only.
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Old February 22, 2019, 12:24 AM   #4
kilotanker22
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Unless it changed recently. It is not legal to hunt over bait
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Old February 22, 2019, 08:08 AM   #5
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Nope. Still not legal to hunt over bait.

I thought some of the western states had regulations on sex of bear, etc..
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Old February 22, 2019, 08:13 AM   #6
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In GA it is illegal to kill a bear with cubs, and the bear has to weigh 75 lbs minimum to be legal. I don't know exactly how you're supposed to weigh it before you shoot it. But that is the law. It has been about 20 years ago, but a friend found that his came in at about 73.5 lbs when he checked it in. They didn't arrest, or even write him a ticket, but did not allow him to keep the bear.

We don't have nearly the bear numbers here in GA that are in PA so I'm sure the tactics need to be different. Until recently we had a good population in the north GA mountains, but not so many elsewhere. The seasons were fairly short and limited to a small area of the state.

In recent years the length of the season has been extended to run mostly the same times as deer season and now covers most of the state. You still have much better chances in the mountains, but at least legally can kill one in most of the state.

The idea is to make it legal for a deer hunter to legally kill a bear that just happens to come along. Whereas in the past you had to be specifically hunting for bear.
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Old February 22, 2019, 12:58 PM   #7
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The only ways I can think of, to reduce the number of sows with cubs from being taken, is to not allow the taking of a sow, at all; or, get the F&G out into the field and tag every single sow with cubs, and make it illegal to shoot a tagged sow.

Neither option is viable or realistic.


The mindset has to change, not the rules.
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Old February 25, 2019, 01:09 AM   #8
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I’m not a trophy Hunter and I think it’s just terrible to go out and shoot wildlife to control numbers and statistics. I just recently went back to deer hunting after being off of it for 10 years. In Pennsylvania..in many of those counties, you can only hunt Buck for the first week and then a Doe & Buck for the second week..And you must have a separate permit for the Doe! How stupid is this?? Pennsylvania has more dead deer on the side of the road then probably most states combined.

Over in Montgomery County Maryland, some of the parks are now closed from 6 PM to 6 AM from February 1 to the end of March so sharpshooters can go in and take out Deer. Deer roam from the parks to private land so why not just extend the hunting season? So now, Deer are not even safe for refuge inside the parks!

The optics of all this outlined above is why hunting gets such a bad rap in my Opinion. In some ways it so overregulated especially in the case of needing a separate permit for taking a Doe as the carnage just piles up on the roads in Pennsylvania… And other regulations just make no sense at all.

And here’s something else that really doesn’t add up to make a whole Lotta sense… Why do they segregate the hunting season for firearms then muzzleloader and then archery? Why not make it all inclusive and make it a longer season ?? Do you know how many animals are wounded during archery season and get away only to die later on?? You can see much of this on YouTube videos and it’s really shameful. If archery was combined with firearms season then another Hunter might have a chance to harvest that wounded animal that otherwise is probably going to get away and be left for dead and waste.

They segregate the season because they treat it as a sport and not hunting for food and that in itself is really a crime against wildlife.
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Old February 25, 2019, 02:58 AM   #9
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bear hunting

Uh??????????? Weren't we discussing bear hunting???????????

So many different points in 'matty's post likely need addressed in separate threads.

Modern hunting is game management. If PA believes they need to take more bears from the herd, configuring hunting seasons is the approach they will use to do it. I hear from PA that the big reason PA bear kill was down this year was weather.

Regards cubs and sows. Based on many years of my personal hunting, watching others hunt and how they conduct them selves, and working hard to apprehend outlaws, here is my take on what is really happening:
Guy shoots sow AND cubs, and gets his kid, wife, buddy to tag the other one. Somebody in the camp/drive./party will tag those other bears. It's tolerated, and its been that way for years.

Franken Mauser was right.....mindset. Don't tolerate violators.
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Old February 25, 2019, 05:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
So many different points in 'matty's post likely need addressed in separate threads.
Yeah, it's really something



Shooting sows with cubs is generally not allowed... is it legal in PA to shoot sows with cubs or just anecdotally not widely enforced?

Because another thing that happens sometimes in PA is that a guy shoots a bear, wounds it, tracks it to its den, and then just tosses the bear a glazed donut (that he just happens to be carrying around whilst bear tracking) instead of finishing the job he started like a man because it'd be "unethical" to shoot a bear in its den. Then he makes a lighthearted forum post about it.

Do glazed donuts heal bear wounds?
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Old February 25, 2019, 08:34 AM   #11
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Here in Co you can shoot either male/female tag but can't shoot cub. You cannot shoot sow with cubs and cub is younger than 1year old.

After you shoot a bear you have 5 days working days for head/ hide inspection by DOW. They are authorized to take premolar tooth and hide has seal. If hide and head frozen and jaw not propped open or DOW keep them till they long enough to get tooth.

Having a bear hide after 5 days period is illegal and become property of the state with seal.

You can buy OTC those have cap on how many issued. Draw tags are for game units.

Bear season here is mostly Sept. 2yrs ago I drew during rifle either bear tag and was during archery and 10 day muzzle loader season. We can look at harvest report here. They don't have 2018 but 2017 they took statewide all game units Boars 756 Sows 508,2016 Boars 579 Sows 354.

We do have either sex Elk/Deer/Antelope but we also have cow elk tag and doe tag deer/antelope.
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Old February 25, 2019, 09:34 AM   #12
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How about you folks ship some down here to Florida so we can have a season? We'll trade you some gators
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Old February 25, 2019, 11:48 AM   #13
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FITASC, go to the panhandle.
There are plenty of bears.
Jackson Guard and the State just don't want to admit it, because then they would have to allocate funds from each of their budgets to 'manage' the bears.
I once saw 27 individual bears in a single day on just a small section of Eglin (after a tropical storm). And, with just two exceptions, I saw one or more bears every time I was on the Eglin range or in the non-government woods - from the Gulf to the Bama border.
I also heard of at least a dozen 'cull' operations* that were done on Eglin from 2003-2007 for multiple bears, each; since the Air Force didn't think it was a good idea to have bears hanging out around the 'dining facilities'.

*(They did the same thing for deer and hogs, quite regularly, until the base started allowing archery hunting in some areas.)


It's all a conspiracy! Every time a bear tries to migrate south, they stop it.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/new...ning-bear.html
https://www.al.com/news/mobile/2018/..._in_mobil.html
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Old February 28, 2019, 12:14 AM   #14
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Dive hunting bears doesn't allow much examination of the trophy until it is down.

The only way to control bear harvest is with traps, bait and hounds. Many folks try to mix emotion, with game management science, and everyone including the bear looses. And the first things to go are traps, hounds and bait because some joker decided it didn't fit his "idea" of ethics or a good time in the woods.

A bear is a bear..who cares of its size or age! When management science has determined a viable harvest number..then all bears count. And when that number has been reached the harvest closes. If the biologist have done their job the resource is managed, preserved, and enjoyed...year after year, generation after generation.

My tag is as good as anyone else's. Maybe I want a cub for my trophy room. Too bad if someone "thinks" their idea of a hunt or trophy is the correct one and mine is not!
Emotion again interfering with sound game management science.

Crossbow vs vertical,...inline vs flintlock,...rifle vs revovler........

Ethics are personal and so are reasons for hunting. My tag cost's the same as yours, so don't tell me I have to do as you do in order to put meat in my freezer or fur on my wall.
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Old February 28, 2019, 01:17 AM   #15
rural12
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Quote:
In recent years the length of the season has been extended to run mostly the same times as deer season and now covers most of the state.
Only the northern zone has that long season.

2018 Ga Bear Seasons

Northern Zone:
Central Zone:
Southern Zone:
Archery : Sept. 8 - Jan. 13
Primitive Weapons: Oct. 13 - Jan. 13
Firearms: Oct. 20 - Jan. 13

Southern Zone
Firearms: Sept. 20-22; Sept. 27-29;
Oct. 4-6; Oct. 11-13
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Old February 28, 2019, 08:31 AM   #16
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FITASC, go to the panhandle.
There are plenty of bears.
Jackson Guard and the State just don't want to admit it, because then they would have to allocate funds from each of their budgets to 'manage' the bears.
I once saw 27 individual bears in a single day on just a small section of Eglin (after a tropical storm). And, with just two exceptions, I saw one or more bears every time I was on the Eglin range or in the non-government woods - from the Gulf to the Bama border.
I also heard of at least a dozen 'cull' operations* that were done on Eglin from 2003-2007 for multiple bears, each; since the Air Force didn't think it was a good idea to have bears hanging out around the 'dining facilities'.

*(They did the same thing for deer and hogs, quite regularly, until the base started allowing archery hunting in some areas.)


It's all a conspiracy! Every time a bear tries to migrate south, they stop it.
I now live in the Panhandle; still haven't seen any. Used to live near the Ocala Ntl Forest; never saw any there either. I HAVE seen a FL Panther up in the Panhandle where they supposedly don't exist.....(damn near hit him as he ran in front of my car)
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Old February 28, 2019, 07:44 PM   #17
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Huntinaz,
I hear ya.
It is illegal to hunt a bear in it's den here.
I have since gotten pics on trail cameras of said bear. I set them up near his den, during deer rifle season.

And i'll let you lead, in going into a bear den, to see if it's dead or not.
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Old March 7, 2019, 12:18 PM   #18
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std7mag,

I feel your pain we Coloradans have problems with the management of bears. The greenies got the spring hunt banned, as well as using bait and dogs. Now we have issues with bears in urban areas, go figure. Our people voted on this as a ballot initiative so it got put in place, and wildlife management shouldn't be left to people who feel humans shouldn't be considered a natural predator as well.

Unfortunately, bears are hard to judge on the move when your window of opportunity is short for a shot on a drive. You would have to get drive hunting banned in your state, as well as make it illegal to shoot sows with cubs and young bears. I doubt that'll be easy to get changed but you'll have to find enough like minded people to get pressure put on your DNR/Wildlife officials to effect change. Bait and dogs would be the most efficient way to make sure only boars were taken, and if they were allowed would probably reduce the amount of drive bear hunters. However, it wouldn't really deal with the urban bear problems.

Unfortunately the best way to reduce bear numbers is shooting sows, taking only the male species isn't going to help. I know I wouldn't' be happy about shooting the cubs either, but is it better than letting them starve if they're too young to make it on their own? It is a personal ethics vs. tradition issue for sure in this case.
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Old March 7, 2019, 04:24 PM   #19
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About 20+ years ago, had an interesting conversation with a warden....he had stopped to say “hello” while I was on stand during bear season. This was the day after the first day of bear season and I had witnessed at the check station the night before.....when the check station was at the Marienville Fire House....some young fellas had brought in a sow and her three cubs. Come to find out they stumbled upon the bears, the sow ran the cubs up a tree and took off. They proceeded to shoot the cubs out of the tree which of course brought the sow back and then they killed her. On of the cubs weighted 17 pounds!!! Not as big as the teddy bear on my daughters bed! BTW, he killed it with a 300 Win Mag! Those young fellas almost got lynched that night. Might have been because they were acting like they had just killed a world record Kodak Brown.... Game Commission people had to escort them out of the building. A comment by one of the Commission people on site, a middle aged mom, “if I had a knife, I’d cut their balls off”, that’s just like shooting one of my kids”!! So back to my conversation with the warden, I relayed the previous nights events and he was aware of what had happened....comment was shoot the cubs because they won’t survive anyhow! I guess it comes down to individual choices and beliefs...I vowed then to never shoot a sow that had cubs with her and certainly not what appeared to be a cub. One final note, after some research, I learned that the average bear weight was about 150 pounds, despite PA bragging about the “super” bears taken, I downsized from my Rem 8 Mag to a 7-08 and 140 gr Pro Hunters.....plenty of firepower....
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Old March 17, 2019, 01:31 PM   #20
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Just make it illegal to shot sows before cubs?

That should be the custom/law when it comes to any hunting no?
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