Bear season for bowhunters starts tomorrow, opening what is a host of Yogi seasons.

Archery bear hunting is permitted in all wildlife management units (WMUs) Oct. 16 through Nov. 6. Adams County encompasses WMU 5A.

The statewide muzzleloader bear season runs Oct. 16-23, while the statewide special firearms season for junior and senior license holders, mentored hunters ages 16 and under, active-duty military and certain disabled persons’ permit holders runs from Oct. 21-23.

The general statewide bear season is set for Nov. 20-23, including Sunday, Nov. 21.

Extended bear hunting is allowed in WMUs 4B, 5A and others from Nov. 27 through Dec. 4, including Sunday, Nov. 28.

Pennsylvania’s hunters took 3,608 black bears in the 2020 seasons. The record of 4,653 was set in 2019.

Hunters took bears in 59 of 67 counties and 22 of Pennsylvania’s 23 WMUs in 2020. Potter County led the state in bear harvest with 188. Nearby county harvests were Perry (36), Franklin (31), Adams (7), Cumberland (6).

If you or a hunter you know takes a bear in season, send up us a picture to share with readers here. Email the photo and details to me at bjsmall@comcast.net.

FISH CONSUMPTION

WARNING FOR

NESHAMINY

Not that I would eat many fish from the Susquehanna, now the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and a host of other state agencies are warning us not to eat any fish caught in the Neshaminy Creek basin in Bucks and Montgomery counties.

The reason reads like scientific mumbo-jumbo, “perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkl chemical substances (PFAS) that readily bioaccumulates in fish tissue ...

The “Do Not Eat” advisory includes Neshaminy Creek State Park and Tyler State Park and comes from extremely high levels of PFOS. PFOS is one of a group of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkl chemical substances (PFAS) that readily bioaccumulates in fish tissue.

Pennsylvania’s Fish Consumption Advisory Program has been evaluating sport-caught fish in Pennsylvania waters for various contaminants, including PCBs, pesticides, and heavy metals. This past year, Pennsylvania has adopted tiered meal advice for PFOS and has begun collecting and analyzing fish tissue samples for PFOS. Levels detected in fish tissue samples from the Neshaminy Creek watershed had levels over the 0.2 parts per million Do Not Eat advisory level.

PFAS are a group of chemicals used for decades in water-repellant fabrics, firefighting foam, and other products. They have been found in ground and surface water, fish, and even human bodies.

The U.S. Geological Service discovered PFAS in blood plasma of smallmouth bass in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay.

The PFBC will discontinue fish stocking in the Neshaminy Creek basin and work to identify nearby replacement waters to redirect trout previously stocked in the basin to provide continued recreational angling opportunities for stocked trout. Fishing is still allowed in the basin, but anglers are urged to practice catch-and-release.

MEMORIAL CLAY SHOOT

FOR WCO DAVID GROVE

The Second Annual David L. Grove Memorial Clay Shoot will be held in his honor on Thursday, Nov. 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Orvis Hill Country, 519 Gladhill Road, in Fairfield.

Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) Warden Grove was murdered by a deer poacher on Nov. 11, 2010 in Adams County.

The shoot supports the PGC’s Junior Game Warden Camp, in memory of WCO Grove. It will be held rain or shine.

There is a limit of 80 shooters in the morning shoot and 80 shooters in the afternoon shoot.

Register at www.pawco.org on the events calendar link.

For $135, each shooter gets 100 targets, picnic lunch and swag bag.

PINCH A POACHER

The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Operation Game Thief (OGT) program is out to pinch poachers and protect wild birds and mammals by encouraging those with details about wildlife crimes to report them as soon as possible.

Within states with similar Game Thief programs, where do you think Pennsylvania ranks in the number of reports per year?

“Whether you’re a hunter, a trapper, a bird watcher or someone who enjoys walking in the woods, wildlife crimes affect us all,” said Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans. “If you saw someone breaking into your neighbor’s house or witnessed someone shoplifting at a store, you would likely report it to the appropriate authorities. Reporting poaching incidents should be no different, as it is theft of a natural resource.”

With more than 1,500 submissions per year, Pennsylvania’s OGT program is the third-busiest in the nation behind Texas and Florida.

Send your wild thoughts and photos to bjsmall@comcast.net.

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