Pennsylvania Bear Season Off and Running; Two Area Men Bag Bears

FALLS CREEK, Pa. (EYT) – Pennsylvania’s regular black bear season began Saturday with good conditions in the morning for area bear hunters and it was evident at the new bear check station in Falls Creek at the Friendship Hose Company.

(Photo above: Jefferson County bear hunters Mike Fye, left, and Jake Miknis, show off the bear Fye bagged Saturday morning while hunting near Sandy Lick Creek in Winslow Township.)

Six successful area hunters brought bears in by noon.

Mike Fye, of Winslow Township, Jefferson County, and Jake Felix, of DuBois, were hunting near Sandy Lick Creek in Jefferson County when Fye bagged a female that weighed nearly 100 pounds.

Two other successful hunters – Eugene Alwine and Mark Bell, from the New Bethlehem area in Clarion County.

They were hunting near Beartown Rocks near Clear Creek State Park in Jefferson County when Alwine bagged a male bear that weighed nearly 200 pounds.

“I’ve hunted bears in Canada before and got one there that weighed 350 pounds, but this is quite a bit different. You do all the work yourself,” Alwine said.

The Pa. Game Commission has bear check stations scattered throughout the state where hunters take their bears for information the collection of information that helps in the management of the animals.

PGC personnel removes a tooth from each bear, and that is how the age of the animal is determined.

The agency’s bear management became serious about 40 years ago when wildlife biologist Dr. Gary Alt took over the program, and he jumped into the effort with both feet.

Alt crawled into bear dens where the animals denned for the winter. He live trapped bears and gathered information from the bears taken by hunters or road-killed animals – all to establish the health, population, and age of the bear population in Pennsylvania.

Alt became one of the leading authorities on black bears in the world. He retired from the Game Commission more than a decade ago, but still works in wildlife studies.

According to, during his tenure, Alt was responsible for launching some of the largest field studies in the country on black bears and white-tailed deer and made some of the most sweeping changes to bear and deer management policies in the history of Pennsylvania.

He has extensive experience coordinating research and management activities with state and federal government agencies, universities, and non-profit organizations. Dr. Alt has testified as an expert witness on numerous occasions in state and federal court cases and in legislative hearings dealing with wildlife issues. He has also designed and implemented monitoring programs for a variety of wildlife species and written reports and published results in numerous professional journals.

Alt has extensive experience in public relations, education, and the use of mass media to win support for conservation programs. He has presented more than 1,500 public lectures and scripted, narrated, and hosted an award-winning documentary.

In addition, his work has been featured nationally in a variety of venues such as Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning News, Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated, People Magazine, and publications and television sponsored by the National Geographic Society.


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