Hunter nearing elusive triple crown
Josh Joswiak is two-thirds of the way there.
The West Deer man was hunting in Fawn last month when he shot a black bear with a crossbow. It had an estimated live weight of 173 pounds. Three weeks later, hunting on the same property with a different crossbow, he shot an 8-point buck.
All that remains is for him to shoot a turkey, and he will have completed what’s known as the triple crown of Pennsylvania hunting: taking all three species in the same license year.
“In the same area where I hunt there’s a ton of turkeys, so I’m hoping for something in the next couple of weeks,” Joswiak said. “I have the fall and then the spring if needed, so I’m hopeful.”
Bill Blauser of Monroeville, who owns the property where Joswiak was hunting, won’t be surprised if he gets a bird. Joswiak is a dedicated hunter, he said.
“It’s like when he got the bear,” Blauser said. “He wasn’t out there doe hunting with the idea that, ‘Oh, if I see a bear I’ll shoot one.’ He was out there looking for a bear.”
Joswiak also killed three does on the same property before the archery deer season began.
“I hunt every day no matter how bad the weather,” he said. “I keep trying until I succeed.”
As for the bear, Joswiak said he knew there were some in the area. Another hunter took one from the same property last year with a slug gun, and he had gotten pictures of bears on his trail cameras this year.
He was thrilled with the one he got and with the cooperation he received from Pennsylvania Game Commission officers who came out to check it. They went “above and beyond,” he said.
In the meantime, Joswiak’s bear is just one of several to be taken in the state’s most urban wildlife management units.
The statewide archery season opens next week, running Monday through Nov. 21. The Game Commission additionally allows archers to shoot bears through Saturday in wildlife management unit 2B, which surrounds Pittsburgh, and units 5C and 5D in southeastern Pennsylvania and in unit 5B, also in the southeast.
Hunters were allowed to shoot a bear with a muzzleloader in all of those units from Oct. 18-25.
Just how many bears hunters got is unknown at this point, said Mark Ternent, the commission’s bear biologist.
“Because bears are typically field-checked by (wildlife conservation officers) during the early season, there is a delay in tallying as the completed paperwork makes its way to a region office. But I’m aware of seven bears to date in the early season. All were archery kills,” Ternent said.
“Five occurred in WMU 5C and two in WMU 2B.”
At least one more bear will be added to that list. An archer reportedly took one in Clinton Township, Butler County, which is part of unit 2B, on Nov. 6.