Pennsylvania Game Commission officials said this year's black bear season, which opens Monday, is likely to produce some exceptionally large bears.
"Barring poor weather that would limit hunter or bear movements, there's always a chance Pennsylvania hunters will set a new bear harvest record," said Vern Ross, Game Commission executive director.
Wildlife officials estimate the black bear population at 14,000 and 15,000, reported the Pittsburgh Times Leader Friday.
In 2000, there was a record bear hunt of 3,075 bears and last year, the harvest was 2,972 bears.
The six largest black bear hunts, all exceeding 2,500 bears, have occurred over the past seven years. The game commission would like to see hunters remove 20 percent of the bear population this year, exceeding the 3,000 mark.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International
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