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Rifle bear season underway in the Poconos

For some hunters, a closed check-in station caused problems when it was time to report their kill.

TOBYHANNA, Pa. — A weekend-long hunt to bag a bear ended in success for Sean Reedy of Hershey.

He and his buddies were hunting in Tunkhannock Township, near Long Pond, when a bear made its way in their direction.

"We started hunting yesterday, or actually Saturday, and we started the drive this morning. With the first drive we put on, we got the bear," said Reedy.

Rifle bear season kicked off statewide over the weekend. It's a tradition for many, like Reedy, who has been hunting bears for over a decade.

"This is my second bear. I got one about ten years ago. It was 513 (pounds). This one is considerably smaller, but it's a dead bear," said Reedy.

But this year, there was no actual checking-in of the bear at Monroe County's station in Tobyhanna because it was closed.

A state game warden met Reedy with his bear in a parking lot to report it.

"If you get a bear, just call into the office. We've had a few issues where guys are heading to the check stations because they're used to it being open. But we've had some changes, so it's closed now," said Game Warden Dillon Gruver.

Game Commission officers tell Newswatch 16 it's been a great year for bear hunting.

"Our early season was pretty good, especially here in Monroe County," Gruver said. "Our numbers, our harvest improved from last year. Last year, we had, I believe it was 36. Now this year, we're up to 52, and this. I've got like five bears to get checked today, just by myself. So definitely keeping busy."

This year the weather isn't the only thing helping hunters; so is Sunday hunting.

"I love it," Reedy said. "Gives us more opportunity when you can't get off of work."

Black bear season ends statewide on Tuesday, but it picks up again in some areas on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Click here for statistics on the Pennsylvania bear harvest.

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