With a heavy snow cover in early spring of 2000, Nixon and Lacey thought they had caught a break when fresh grizzly tracks were located at a local ranch. By trailing them into the bush, the men hoped to find the bear's winter den, which it would probably still be using despite its early foray. They followed the tracks by snowmobile and then snowshoes for more than 10 miles, but lost the trail when the bear crossed a south-facing slope where the snow had melted. Returning to the ranch, the officers acquired a cow that had died of natural causes and made a set, hoping the bear would return. On April Fool's Day, their prayers seemed to be answered when a grizzly was snared. After the 500-pound male was dispatched, measurements were taken of the feet and teeth, and they seemed to match the tracks and bite marks left by the Phantom. Nixon and Lacey thought their task was completed.