Killing Of 700-Pound Black Bear Sets North American Hunting Record
A bow hunting organisation in New Jersey claims a 700-pound black bear killed last autumn has set a new world record as the largest black bear to be killed with a bow and arrow in North America.
The Pope and Young Club said the bear’s skull, shot in Morris County on October 14, measured 23 5/16 inches; surpassing the record set by Californian hunter Robert J. Shuttleworth Jr, of 23 3/16 inches, in 1993.
This new record was announced after a special judging panel was assembled in Harrisburg on February 8, during the Great American Outdoors Show, a nine-day event which celebrates hunting, fishing and other outdoor pursuits.
Hunter Jeff Melillo said:
It has been an inspiring journey, to say the least. New Jersey, my home state, has its First-Ever World Record Animal!
Many years ago, I read an article in Outdoor Life Magazine stating that the New World Record Black Bear will most likely come from New Jersey.
They were spot on, and I never doubted it for one second. I’m very grateful that I get to be a part of all this. Pursuing bears with bow and arrow is a passion of mine.
The bear’s body has been preserved through taxidermy and is set to be put on display at Virginia’s Pope and Young Annual Convention in March.
Records Director for the Pope and Young Club, Eli Randall, has described the bear’s skull as being ‘the heaviest I had ever seen’:
I knew I was going to be looking at an impressive Black Bear skull, as it was officially measured at over 23 inches and weighed in at 700 pounds.
I was not prepared for the amount of mass the skull possessed, not only was the skull huge, but the bone structure was the heaviest I had ever seen.
New Jersey’s black bear hunt has proven divisive in recent years. During his campaign, Governor Phil Murphy promised to put an end to the black bear hunt and implemented a bear hunting ban on state lands in 2018. A complete ban is still being sought by The New Jersey Sierra Club, according to CBS Philadelphia.
New Jersey’s black bear hunt was reintroduced in 2003 to a bid to control the growing bear population after an almost 30-year-long hiatus. A total of 315 bears were shot and killed during 2019’s hunting periods.
Bear hunters in New Jersey argue that hunting is part of a conservation effort, which helps reduce dangerous interactions between humans and bears.
However, many conservation experts perceive this narrative to be false, pointing out that there are many non-lethal ways to prevent such interactions, including using bear-resistant garbage cans, and making sure not to leave food out for bears.
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Pope and Young Club