This is the bear killed by a poacher on Rothrock State Forest.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission is seeking information on who poached a black bear just two days before the statewide archery season on the species opened.
Turkey hunters in Rothrock State Forest found the bear on Nov. 14. A male weighing about 180 pounds, it had been shot with a crossbow. The bolt was still lodged in its body.
“This bear had been shot several days ago and suffered a slow death,” said wildlife conservation officer Amy Nabozny said.
The bolt had a field tip on it. They, as any archer knows, are for target shooting, not hunting.
Nabozny said she suspects someone shot the bear as it walked under their treestand. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call 1-888-742-8001.
A reward may be available.
Some other hunters, meanwhile, legally took bears with archery gear this week.
Shawn Barron, the commission’s wildlife conservation officer in southern Somerset County, said three hunters harvested bears in Georges Township portion of Fayette County earlier this week. All were females, ranging from 60 to 160 pounds.
Shawn Harshaw, a conservation officer in Cambria County, said two bears were harvested on Tuesday near Prince Gallitzin State Park.
One was a 200-pound male. The other, interestingly enough, was a 236-pound female. She was tagged, so the commission knew her age. She was 17.
No bears have been harvested in Washington County this century. There’s been talk that could happen this year, as several have been sighted in the Fredericktown area in recent weeks.
Conservation officer Chris Bergman said he’s not aware of many, if any, people seriously pursuing them, however.