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Hunter Bags 772-pound Black Bear in Lackawanna County

COVINGTON TOWNSHIP–*Disclaimer: We want to warn you, some of the video in this story may be upsetting to some viewers.*

Today marked the third day of rifle season for hunters looking to bag a bear this season.

One hunter in Lackawanna County got his this week… a black bear weighing almost 800 pounds.

“I couldn’t believe how big it was. It’s big,” Daniel Beavers of Covington Township said.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission estimates the male black bear weighed 772 pounds.

So far it’s the largest bear taken in Pennsylvania this season, and it was shot near Daleville in Lackawanna County.

“I wasn’t even going to go hunting. First drive of the morning he just came right out to me and I shot him,” Beavers said.

Beavers said the skull of the bear will be measured to see if it breaks a world record.

Meanwhile in Monroe County… we found Edward Nesfeder getting his bear weighed at a station near Tobyhanna.

He says this is his first bear after decades of hunting.

“It’s pretty exciting. It’s something you don’t expect. I’ve seen other ones in the woods but this is the first one that came close enough,” Edward Nesfeder of Allentown said.

Spotting a bear this season hasn’t been in everyone’s favor.

David Shupe and his brother Phillip haven’t had much luck.

“You know we’ve done our hunting in our younger days and now we’re getting to the point where we like being in the woods for excercise. I like seeing the game, if I can see some,” David Shupe of Tionesta said.

Some hunters we talked to say the best time to hit the woods to go hunting for bear is when there is lots of snow on the ground.

They say the white stuff really helps when it comes to looking to bear tracks in the woods.

“Yeah this is the best time of weather to be out hunting because at least you can see some tracks in the woods of what’s going on and what’s moving around,” Phillip Shupe of Levittown said.

Officials with the Pennsylvania Game Commission say its been a busy few days at the bear check in station near Tobyhanna.

They expect it to stay that way until the end of the season.

“I think we’ll do well. With the bear season running through the deer season, I think hunters will have ample opportunity to harvest a Pennsylvania black bear,” Ryan Gildea, wildlife conservation officer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission said.

99 comments

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  • jason wunderlich

    just 2 give u heads up dont count me out i shot 552lb in potter 2013 n he at taxidermist now gettin skull ready for u gc had tattoo in mouth because his head was so big. So time will tell i c ur pictures n i think my head was bigger.either way we both got booners or pope n young trophies of a lifetime.

    • Steve Sorensen

      Janice — fortunately, the answer is easy. It was killed because a certain number of bears need to be killed every year. It doesn’t matter how big or majestic (or cute or cuddly) it is. In terms of keeping bears in balance with their habitat, with other species, and to minimize conflict with humans, all bears are the same. In wildlife management, the whole population matters more than the individual.

    • Janice Decker

      But Steve, this one was exceptionally magnificent. One look at the photo and it is no surprise the skull size might indeed be a world record. If it was smaller perhaps, or more average, we wouldn’t be discussing it here because it would not have been newsworthy enough to make the page. If only it was exempt from the hunting competition to live and get even bigger! Stores are full of other kinds of meat, fish, and protein powders. So I ask again, this majestic animal was killed WHY? We know the answers: for vain pursuits, bragging rights, trophy mounts, oh yes let’s not forget the meat (a bear that size, you’d be eating meat ’til the cows come home.) Sorry I just can’t be the kind of person to congratulate a hunter on this kill or say “atta boy!” The girly-girl that I am, upon seeing the carcass, would say, “Oh sorry for your loss!”

      • Steve Sorensen

        Jane, you’re saying that size is just as important to you as it is to those who congratulate the hunter. But why does it matter to those against the kill whether the bear was big or small? Other hunters who have killed much smaller bears are criticized for their actions, too. Maybe even you would be critical and would say things such as,”Oh, the bear was so cute — why kill it?” Or, “That big bad hunter couldn’t even let the bear grow up!” Don’t you see that people will oppose the hunter no matter what he shoots? Don’t you see that he can’t win with that kind of opposition?

        The point is, any criticism of the killing of a bear based on size, big or small, is a purely subjective opinion which has no place in the legal, ethical, or game management discussions of this.

        What would we be saying if the hunter never pulled the trigger on that bear? The answer is — nothing. You wouldn’t know about it. I wouldn’t know about it. Even the hunter wouldn’t know about it. Even if he saw the bear and didn’t shoot it, all he would know is that he saw a pretty big bear. Nobody in this discussion would know anything. Now, we know that a hunter killed a giant bear, and that more giant bears are out there, and that some of the little bears out there will grow up to rival this bear in size. In other words, this huge bear will be replaced. It’s the story of game management, and the cycle of life.

      • Steve Sorensen

        So, Janice, you’re saying the hunter should say, “Whew! That’s a big un! Maybe the biggest in the world! Wouldn’t be right to kill that one. I probably shouldn’t pull the trigger on that thing and wait for one that I’m sure isn’t record size.”

        No one has the skills to make that judgment. A bear might have a big old fat head, but a small skull. Or a 400 pound bear might be thin, but have a big skeletal structure. What you’re suggesting isn’t possible under the hunting conditions we have in Pennsylvania.

        Now, judging size over a bait pile, an experienced hunter who has killed lots of bears is often able to judge what is called trophy quality. He looks at the position of the bear’s ears and their size relative to the bear’s head. He looks for a crease down the forehead of the bear. He may even look at the head relative to body size. He looks for both width and length of the bear’s head while recognizing that once the skin, fat and muscle are gone, the bone will appear much smaller.

        So no, what you’re suggesting is possible only in certain situations where an observation can be made over a period of time by a highly experienced hunter who has killed lots and lots of bears.

      • Janice Decker

        Yes, Steve, your first paragraph in your second retort to me, YES, that’s exactly what my little girly-girl mind is thinking, that the hunter would be awed and humiliated by the majesty of the animal, he would drop his sight (gun) and let it go, just like that scene in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen when Sean Connery’s character Allan Quatermain did just that! (In reality, if one hunter didn’t get this Jumbo bear, I realize someone else would have – so letting it go wouldn’t have secured it’s safety.) And it’s OK if you call me Jane. I like the way you write.

      • kyle

        America is full of weak non understanding people. Hunting is our right aas AMERICAN citizens. The way of hunting the food that we put in our freezers can’t be explained to people who would rather buy,pay for,and ignore the seriously inhumane way ur beef,chicken,and pork is processed and put on the store shelf for the modern human…..

  • john

    this is what someone posted on my wife’s facebook page when she posted a picture fo her first buck that she shot and was very proud of and someone slammed her for it. And I think it explains things pretty well. Please keep in mind that this is on facebook so it refers to people who communicate with you as “friends”.

    I have to share with you what one of my facebook friends posted this week… I think it is perfectly said… “I have in the last few days noticed a handful of FB posts complaining of all the “dead deer pics” in their news feed. I am guilty as charged of these pictures this year, in years past, and will probably continue to do such. Yes, I understand it’s not your typical FB post of someone’s morning pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks, a friend’s selfie in their car, or even a family pic. But before you bemoan a picture of a dead animal you should reconsider what that means to “your friend”. I highlight the fact that it’s your friend because typically those posts wouldnt show up if you werent in fact friends with them. That being said, I think I can speak for a large majority of hunters when I say that these pictures mean more to them than meets the eye.

    A pic of a deer to them isnt just a picture of a dead animal. It represents hours, weeks, and sometimes months of hard work and preparation. It represents hours of practice and even a lot of luck. It may also represent a shared tradition that their father or grandfather may have passed down to them and they too may pass on to their children. Hunting is something that people have done across the world as long as you care to look back and will likely continue for many years to come.

    Considering the vast majority of my friends grew up in PA and most likely yours did as well it’s undeniable hunting is a prevalent activity in this state. What irritates me the most are those that attempt to take the moral high ground and pretend they are somehow superior by not hunting. I’m not saying everyone should go out and kill every animal they eat but to completely remove yourself from the process by buying every chicken, steak, and other meat at the grocery store doesnt make one morally superior or put you in a higher class. Hunting is an extremely complex topic and I don’t wish to mention any more than what I have already. Just take a second thought before you criticize an activity that may be important part of your friend and their family’s life. Good luck to all those still out there, getting their hands dirty, and spending time in the outdoors!”

    ….So although we don’t know all of you and aren’t friends with you who have differing opinions, it is our business what choose to be proud of like I said before, this is our hobby, AND it is NONE of your business, how we chose to express our pride in what we do. You have your hobbies, food preferences and means of getting food or whatever you want to call it and so do we, it is NONE of your concern. If you don’t like it Don’t look at the pictures. AND I do 100%, agree with what this person said and vegans or animal lovers or whatever your want to call yourself (by the way i am an animal lover thats why i have a dog) you do feel like you should be put on a pedestal to make yourselves feel superior. Why is that? Because that sure is how you act and present yourself! Get over it and mind your own business. Some people don’t have the money or the time to be vegens because that can be a very expensive diet to live by. FOR SOME people it can actually be the only means of putting food on their table!!

    • george grund

      Man is always so proud of killing well I’m I for one am not proud of you. I think we as people are idiots for killing and cutting down tress and so forth. It isn’t obvious that we’re destroying the planet? Wow what an idiot.

      • Thomas Carney

        Calling someone an idiot says more about you than it does about him. Most scientists would tell you that we are omniverous creatures. Most nutritionists would tell you meat from wild creatures is better for us than meat from domestic creatures. And I could go on and on but the bottom line is that you don’t hunt, think none should, and think you are so much smarter than the rest of us that we should either accept your value judgements as fact or else suffer your verbal abuse.

    • Karen

      Exactly! How could you be tracking this special creature for years and then when you come face to face with it, shoot and kill it? I don’t (and will never) understand this mentality! I find it very sad. I hope it wasn’t a mother with cubs who will now starve to death.

      • Steve Sorensen

        Jane, who’s to say how “special” the woods are? The truth is that bears of this size are not gone. The woods are special because they will produce more bears of this magnificent size.

      • Steve Sorensen

        Janice — sorry, I called you “Jane” in both my responses. I’m on a new computer and I’m having trouble getting a feel for this keyboard, plus, I keep getting pop-ups that interrupt my keystrokes.

      • Thomas Carney

        The woods are special and always will be. The flora, fauna, the water, the wind, all are part of the total picture. As that particular bear was a part of the wonder of the forests. But so was the predator/hunter who got him.

  • John

    Congratulations Buddy,
    Beautiful Bear!!! To those who don’t like it, Keep your opinions to yourself, we have our hobbies and diet preferences just like you do. Build a bridge and get over it. If you don’t like it then don’t look at the picture or switch the channel on the TV. Next time you hit a deer with your car and it gets totaled, just remember “Wow, maybe if someone had shot this deer, I wouldn’t have ended up over the side of a mountain.” Just saying, we don’t pick on you because of your preferences, so don’t do it to us either…like I said, build a bridge and GET OVER IT!!!!

    • Rebecca

      Eating other animals stops being a personal preference when you take away the rights of anotherso you can have a snack or a decoration. A preference doesn’t hurt anyone. Your preference kills someone. No animals are not things. Animals are someones. To kill them for your own pleasure is speciesist. My preference may be to be rich. But I don’t go around robbing other people to serve my preference. Same concept. I would not care if what anyone did if no one else got hurt. Eating animals also destroys the environment and uses 1000s of times the water and grain to produce one lb of food. Therefore, when you eat meat you are destroying the environment we all share and contributing to world hunger. Don’t believe me? Look up what the United Nations has to say on this topic. Bottom line. Eat meat and screw a whole lot of people and animals. Meat = greed = murder.

      • Thomas Carney

        Most here feel animals are not ‘someones’ and being a ‘specisist’ is a concept so alien I wonder whether you are just pulling our legs. Since I refute your efforts to tell me how to live, I an not arrogant enough to tell you how to live, but most medical opinion today thinks that buying organic does not really benefit anyone and is in fact throwing money away,

    • john

      all these people on here who complain about someone harvesting an animal that yes, they might go and use it as a “decoration” in there home as someone had mentioned, but also use the meat as a means of feeding their families. think about this. us hunters are not senselessly killing an animal and leaving it lay. we are using the meat and trust someone who does their own butchering, does not let a single piece of meat go to waste. I was taught growing up to not shoot and kill animal that you did not intend on eating. (by the way groundhogs make excellent chili). yet these same people who protest hunting animals will kill a fly (an animal), a bee, or want a snake in their yards killed because it annoys them or scares them and let it lay where they killed it. whose the hypocrite here?

      • Rebecca

        John. I am not saying that hunters are bad people. My family hunted for generations. I am saying that killing is bad. No I do not kill anything, snakes, bees, etc. I am vegan and Buddhist. Killing ANY sentient being is contrary to my values. So no I am not hypocritical. I don’t kill anythin, I rescue animals, and my work is helping people as much as possible ie. socihal justice. I should not have called the huntera murderer. That was my anger speaking. I do believe it to be murder. That does not mean that the hunter is a bad person. I understand feeding ones family. I just think it would be better for all of us if we all reconsidered what we feed our families. I no longer have a family. They are all dead from heart disease caused by eating too much meat. There is no cholesterol in plants. Only animal products contain cholesterol. My own cholesterol dropped 81 points in 3 months after I became vegan. I lost a bunch of weight. My health has improved significantly. And I have saved 150 animals and thousands of gallons of water, and avoided a bunch of pollution in the 8 months since becoming vegan.

  • lsw

    I am do not hunt myself but have no isues with those who do, And hunters as a group have likely done more for wildlife conservation and habitat preservation than any organization in the country.

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