Black Bear Hunting photo
Opening morning we went to a swamp we drive every year on opening day and a rival group was there setting up to drive it…we left and went to a swamp just over the hill. While we were setting up we heard a volley of shots in the swamp that the other guys were at and this gave us a sour feeling. The shots got closer and closer and soon i knew one of our guys had shot. My 13 year old cousin Steven had shot one of the bear.
A few minutes later I heard 3 more shots and my brother had also shot one (this was his second bear from the exact location he was standing and we now call this spot “Ryans Spot” he is 17 years old). Both bears came from the drive that the other guys were doing and the bears were running towards the swamp we were setting up on. My brothers bear weighed 123 and my cousins was 154.
Onto the third and final day of the season…we had not chased a bear out of one of our own drive all year and this is very unusual for our gang as we average 2.8 bear per year. We were all wet and worn down from 3 days of dark-to-dark driving. The third day of the season—we spent a good part of the third day near the area of my uncle’s house because that night he had a bear rip his garbage up (the bear people had been seeing in his area was around 500 pounds) we finished a drive around 1:15 and we were all trying to decide where to go next…
Do we stay where we know a big bear is in the area or do we go back to our family’s land where we know there is a big bear somewhere? We ended up going back to our family’s land with half of the guys disagreeing with the decision.
We set up on a drive we call “The Gartersnake” which is a stream that runs behind my family’s lake and has steep banks with thick rhododendron and is not far from an apple orchard. The drive started and about 3 minutes into the drive a shot rang out…I heard “WOOOOOO-HOOOOO!!!!.”
I was about 300 yards away and i could hear Howie screaming plain as day. My Uncle Dave said over the radio: “Make sure he is dead!” Another shot rang out and Howie started screaming again. Then everyone started screaming and i could hear Howie yelling and saying he is huge.
Over the radio Howie said: “He is probably 400 pounds!” Then everyone in the whole gang started screaming, even the standers. My Uncle Carl got on the radio and said: “I guess i owe Jeff an apology.” Earlier that day he said to my dad, Jeff: “There is no way there is a bear in there.”
We stopped the drive and everyone rushed over to where Howie had shot. From the end of Howies 30-30 to where the bear came out was about 4 yards.
The gun Howie was using was borrowed, the gun he was originally using got the site broken off of it while getting out of the truck. The bear was shot just at the base of the head and the second shot was just to make sure he wasnt going anywhere.
This is the biggest bear my gang has ever killed and what makes it really cool is that it was killed right here on my family’s property. We have killed quite a few bears over 450 pounds on our piece but this is the biggest by about 50 pounds. It took 5 guys at a time to drag this bruin and even then we only went about 40 yards at a time.
The bear’s skull cannot be officially scored because the bullet broke the skull. As of now its looking like this bear will be in the top 5 biggest bears killed this year (by weight). He’s on his way to the taxidermist now: Shawn Lamparter’s Wildlife Design Gouldsboro, PA

The recently completed Pennsylvania bear season resulted in some huge bruins. Here’s the story behind one of the slammers taken on the last day.