Thursday’s high, 72; Overnight low, 44; .14”

TODAY OVERCAST CHANCE OFLIGHT SHOWERS, HIGH 58

TONIGHT CLEAR, LOW 44

SATURDAY SUNNY, HIGH 52

SATURDAY NIGHT, CLEAR LOW 32

SUNDAY SUNNY, HIGH 59

SUNDAY NIGHT, CLOUDY LOW 30

PA Archery bear season opens tomorrow…..Covid cases continue to increase in region….Elkland man arrested for violating PFA….Wellsboro man charged with physical harassment……

Pennsylvania has a chance to break last year’s record bear harvest of 4,653 in the coming bear seasons At first glance, it seems an unlikely possibility given so many bears were taken last fall. But even with last fall’s phenomenal harvest, there’s still about 20,000 black bears roaming Penn’s Woods. And those new and extended bear seasons that helped hunters set the record harvest are back this fall. In fact, an additional week of hunting has been added to the archery bear season, and the four-day general bear season, which starts on a Saturday, will offer a day of Sunday hunting, giving bear hunters the whole weekend to pursue bears.

Last year, the agency sold a record 202,043 bear hunting licenses. This year, bear license sales are 18 percent ahead of last year’s pace as of Oct. 9.

Over the past three years, more than 10,000 black bears were taken by Pennsylvania hunters.

Last year’s record harvest broke the previous record harvest set in 2011, when 4,350 bears were taken. In 2018, hunters took a total of 3,153 bears – Pennsylvania’s 11th best bear harvest. The only other year hunters took more than 4,000 bears was in 2005 when 4,164 were taken.

Last year, bears were taken in 58 of 67 counties and 22 of 23 of the state’s Wildlife Management Units (WMUs).

The largest bear through all 2019 seasons is the 813-pound male taken with a rifle on the opening day of the general bear season in Smithfield Township, Monroe County, by Victor M. Vassalluzzo, of Kintnersville.

Lycoming County led all other counties with the harvest of 284 bears. It was followed by Clinton and Tioga counties, both with 267. Other top counties for bear harvests in 2019 were: Huntingdon, 180; Potter, 174; Luzerne, 163; Pike, 161; Bedford, 156; Centre, 146; and Warren, 146.

Harvests varied across the state’s slate of bear hunting seasons. Hunters took 1,340 bears in the partially concurrent new muzzleloader and special firearms seasons; 1,629 in the general season; 1,117 in extended seasons; and 561 in the archery season.

The new muzzleloader season led to a harvest of more than 1,000 bears, which was unexpected, But the agency will closely monitor the season in coming years to ensure its contribution to the total harvest doesn’t impact opportunity in other bear hunting seasons.

Bear hunting in the state got underway on Sept. 19 with early archery seasons in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D. An early archery season also opened Oct. 3 in WMU 5B.

The statewide bear archery season runs from Oct. 17 through Nov. 7, while the bear muzzleloader season runs from Oct. 17-24. A special-firearms bear season runs from Oct. 22-24 for junior and senior license holders, active-duty military and certain disabled persons’ permit holders.

The statewide general bear season will run Nov. 21, Sunday, Nov. 22 and Nov. 23-24.

Extended bear seasons will be held in WMUs 1B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 5A from Nov. 30-Dec. 5; and in WMUs 2B, 5B 5C and 5D from Nov. 30-Dec. 12. Hunters are reminded, they cannot harvest bears anywhere in the Commonwealth on Saturday, Nov. 28 and Sunday, Nov. 29, the first two days of firearms deer season. Extended-season bear hunting begins Monday, Nov. 30.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today confirmed as of 12:00 a.m., October 15, that there were 1,598 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 177,520. All 67 counties in Pennsylvania have cases of COVID-19.

Allegheny is reporting an increase of 117 cases, Philadelphia is reporting an increase of 163 cases and Westmoreland is reporting an increase of 135 cases.

The number continues to grow here in the Black Forest Broadcasting service area. Tioga County  now has 125 cases; Elk, 93; McKean, 72; Potter, 37; while Cameron County is holding at eight cases. Across the border in New York State,  Allegany County has 176 cases and Cattaraugus 383. Allegheny County in Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh is reporting an increase of 117 cases.

The number of tests administered within the last 7 days between October 8 and October 14 is 240,220 with 9,370 positive cases. There were 33,839 test results reported to the department through 10 p.m., October 14.

There are 8,432 total deaths attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 21 new deaths reported. County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

Mask-wearing is required in all Pennsylvania  businesses and whenever leaving home. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 according to health experts.

There are 2,089,197 patients who have tested negative to date. Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older.

State Police at Mansfield investigated in violation of a protection from abuse order back on September 29 at 9144 Route 49 in Nelson Township, Tioga County. Police did not release the name of the 34 year old suspect, but claim that when they arrived on the scene, he was still there and had been evicted from the property a few hours earlier. He was taken to the Mansfield barracks for charges and processing. While at that location he was allegedly found to be in possession of a pill bottle that did not belong to him.  Charges have been filed in District Court. The victim is listed as 32 year old Naomi Hoffman of Elkland.

 A criminal mischief occurring on Bailey Creek Road in Rutland Township was investigated October 3 by state police at Mansfield and as a result, they are charging a 41 year old Millerton man but did not release his name. The victim is listed as a 39 year old Millerton woman.

A 23 year old Wellsboro man whose name was also not released by State Police has been arrested for physical harassment for an assault allegedly occurring Tuesday afternoon in Duncan Township. The victim is listed as a 23 year old Wellsboro woman.