Bear season begins in PA


Submitted photo

A black bear killed by the father of junior Mason Rider. The creature officially weighed in at 519 pounds.

Logan Williams, Staff Reporter

It is no secret that there is an abundance of outdoorsmen in the area who enjoy hunting for whitetail deer, but you can’t say the same for black bears. The sport of bear hunting is unlike any other form of hunting, and is a unique experience that can’t be replicated.

On November 19, hunters who purchased a black bear tag will be able to legally hunt them with a rifle for the next four days. Many large groups of hunters will spend the first weekend in the woods in large groups, driving the bears out of their homes in the thickest, most hidden areas. 

Bear hunting is unlike any other form of hunting, because the idea is to create noise to scare a bear in the direction of another hunter, rather than staying constantly silent and waiting. It requires teamwork and selflessness. 

Owen Hendershot, a Bellefonte junior and experienced hunter, enjoys the thrill that comes from hunting a potentially dangerous animal.

“Bear hunting is different from any kind of hunting, because you get to shoot an animal that is three times bigger than yourself and eventually eat it,” Owen said.

While the thrill and excitement that a hunter may experience in the moment is amazing, it is not as valuable as the memories that will last a lifetime. Mason Rider, a junior at Bellefonte who has been hunting since he was a young kid, has had the privilege to experience this with his dad and his friends. 

“My coolest story would probably be the time we shot a five hundred and twenty pound black bear. It was shot five times with a thirty-thirty lever action Winchester. It took five hours to get it to the truck,” Mason said.

Many people who are strangers to black bear hunting might think that the ultimate reward is killing a record-size bear, but that is just a bonus. The real value comes from the brotherhood created by not being afraid of nature and the memories that are made along the way. It is also comforting for hunters to know that on November 26, rifle season will begin and they can enjoy harvesting deer as well. The number of hunters is increasing overall, and the future is bright for outdoorsmen in Pennsylvania.