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679-Pound Black Bear Taken With a Handgun at 5 Yards in Pennsylvania

Over 1,200 black bears were taken in the first day of Pennsylvania's four-day black bear season, including a 679-pound bear in Warren County.

A hunter in Pennsylvania dropped a 679-pound black bear with a .357 caliber handgun at five yards on opening day of the state's four-day hunting season.

The 679-pound male bear appeared at around 8:00 a.m. during a drive of a Christmas tree patch, Tutmaher said.

That wasn't even the largest bear of opening day. That distinction went to a male that was estimated at 704 pounds and taken in Goshen Township, Clearfield County, by Mickey L. Moore.

A huge 780-pound male, the biggest of the three days, was taken with a rifle November 19 by Michael J. Rubeo, of Mercer, in Howe Township, Forest County.

Along with those notables, the Pennsylvania Game Commission released preliminary daily totals for three of the four days, with the fourth likely to follow soon.

Hunters totaled 1,241 bears on the season's opening day, 381 on the second, and 211 on the third, raising the three-day total to 1,833. That's a 12 percent increase over the 1,628 bears taken during the 2017 season's first three days.

It's worth noting that these are all preliminary totals, and archery and other early season harvests were not counted in these latest reports.

Overall, the state's bear harvest numbers seem to be stable, with small improvements. Pennsylvania's highest opening day harvest number was 1,936 bears in 2011. The state record season-long harvest was also the same year, with 4,350 total bears were taken.

The top bear-hunting county in the state after three days of season was Clinton County with 119. It was followed by Lycoming County with 103.2222

Here is a regional and county-by-county breakdown.

Northwest (366): Venango, 68 (41); Jefferson, 64 (47); Forest, 52 (28); Warren, 52 (79); Crawford, 49 (20); Clarion, 37 (29); Butler, 17 (9); Erie, 15 (6); and Mercer, 12 (6).

Southwest (168): Somerset, 57 (34); Fayette, 32 (23); Indiana, 30 (8); Armstrong, 25 (30); Cambria, 13 (6); and Westmoreland, 11 (9).

Northcentral (643): Clinton, 119 (106); Lycoming, 103 (120); Tioga, 86 (113); Clearfield, 72 (49); Cameron, 61 (40); Potter, 54 (108); Centre, 46 (31); Elk, 46 (59); McKean, 43 (54); and Union, 13 (10).

Southcentral (245): Huntingdon, 76 (39); Bedford, 51 (26); Fulton, 33 (16); Blair, 21 (6); Juniata, 15 (9); Franklin, 14 (7); Perry, 14 (9); Mifflin, 10 (9); Adams, 4 (2); Cumberland, 4 (3); and Snyder, 3 (2).

Northeast (355): Luzerne, 50 (35); Bradford, 46 (28); Monroe, 46 (33); Pike, 46 (89); Sullivan, 30 (60); Wayne, 29 (54); Wyoming, 24 (29); Carbon, 25 (23); Lackawanna, 15 (25); Columbia, 17 (9); Northumberland, 17 (3); Susquehanna, 10 (19); and Montour 0 (1).

Southeast (56): Dauphin, 25 (13); Schuylkill, 17 (6); Lebanon, 7 (2); Lehigh, 3 (0); Northampton, 3 (2); and Berks 1 (4).

NEXT: IT TOOK CLAY NEWCOMB 5 YEARS TO ARROW THIS 550-POUND OKLAHOMA BLACK BEAR

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679-Pound Black Bear Taken With a Handgun at 5 Yards in Pennsylvania