Pennsylvania has one of the largest and healthiest black bear populations in the eastern United States, with individuals topping the 600-pound mark harvested annually.

Is it your goal to bag a Pennsylvania bruin? If so, odds are you’ll be joining the tens of thousands of other hunters heading out this morning in search of this fascinating creature. While statewide the season is only four days in length, Nov. 20 to 23 (that’s right, it includes Sunday), there are numerous extensions to the season depending upon your location.

While your odds of tagging a bear are not high, they are perhaps as high as is possible, seeing that Pennsylvania is gaining quite a reputation, both for its large number of bears and for their size. In truth, Pennsylvania boasts some of the largest black bears in the world, with several bears taken each year in the 600-to-700-pound range.

Larry Hendricks is an avid outdoorsman from Union County.

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