Pike County Federation of Sportsmen's
BEAR HUNTING PAGE
Pike County could be called the Bear
Capital of Pennsylvania. With the greatest number of bear per square
mile, the annual harvest is often in the triple digits. Pike's
unique habitat of large blueberry filled swamps surrounded by acorn
covered ridges give the bear exactly what they need --- abundant food and
cover. The food supply is so plentiful that Pike County bears grow
to incredible size and produce large litters. Numerous bear
have broken the 800 pound mark.
Pennsylvania Game Commission
Federation Home Page
Federation Hunting Pages Index
Gary Alt, the
Pennsylvania Game Commission's world renown bear biologist, spent many
years studying the bear of Pike County and was always found inspecting the
bears that were brought to the Shohola check station. Today, with Dr. Alt
retired, Commission personnel trained in his methods continue to record
vital data in an effort to maintain a healthy population. The bear
are weighed, a tooth is pulled, and often blood or skin samples are taken.
The use of dogs to hunt
bear is prohibited by state law as is the use of bait. Therefore the
most common hunting techniques used for hunting bear in Pike County are
"driving" and "stand hunting".
Driving consists of a
group of hunters (drivers) walking in unison through likely bear cover.
The drivers often shout or make other noises to alert the other hunters of
their location and to scare the bears into leaving cover. As the drivers
push through the cover, other hunters (standers) are waiting and, if all
goes well, the bear will walk in front of the standers. While this may
sound easy, many bear are aware of such tricks and will lay down until the
drivers go past.
Stand hunting involves finding a good
location and waiting for a bear to walk by. Some hunters select their
stand by choosing trails used by bear or overlooking areas bear are known
to frequent. Others choose places where they have a long view in hopes a
bear will amble by. Still others select stands near swamps that they know
other hunters will drive. Since bear do not like being bothered by the
drivers, they often "slip out the back" and exit behind the drivers.
Many a bear has been taken after it has escaped a drive only to walk by a
hunter sitting on the ridge.
No matter how you hunt them, bear
hunting is quite a challenge. While hard work and scouting will increase
your chances of success, luck also plays a large part. Many long time
hunters have gone years without seeing a bear during the season let alone
harvesting one. Others shoot one on their first attempt. But to bag a
bear, you must be where the bear are and Pike County is a good place to
State Record Bear
Oldest Recorded Bear
35 Years Old
Shot in Pike County
2007 Largest Bear in State
shot in Dingman Twp. Pike