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Bush & Crick

Schuylkill County Man’s Big Bear Was 2nd Biggest in PA in 2023

65 bears were taken in Schuylkill County last year

The Minersville man who we reported on recently bagging himself a big bear in Foster Township got the second biggest bear in Pennsylvania last year.

According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Joey Brennan’s 645-pound bear was bigger than nearly every other bear harvested in the Commonwealth last year.

The biggest was a 691-pound bear taken in Pike County by a Quakertown man. 

Brennan’s whopper was 1 of 5 bears that topped the 600-pound mark, according to Game Commission data. And 10 bears last year were at least 576 pounds.

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In 2023, more than 206,000 people went bear hunting in Pennsylvania, which is the fourth-highest number in history. It was the fifth straight year in which the state sold more than 200,000 bear licenses. 

Twenty years ago, Pennsylvania only saw less than 130,000 bear hunters.

Those hunters took 2,920 bears in 2023. That’s less than the 3,170 bears harvested in 2022 but the Game Commission notes that extended bear season was halted in 5 Wildlife Management Units last year.

Brennan’s bear was 1 of 65 taken in Schuylkill County last year. That number matched the number of bears harvested here in 2022.

The top bear hunting counties in 2023 were Tioga (176 bears), Lycoming (170), Potter (155), Pike (142), Bradford (138), Luzerne (135), Monroe (124), Clinton (108), and Carbon (101).

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