When an Athol, Massachusetts man shot one of the largest black bears anyone had seen in those parts for a while, rumors spread fast that it could be a possible state record. But unfortunately it was not.
After further review, the 650-point black bear shot by Athol-native Jim Mundell did not qualify for a state record. It was still a massive bear, though, which Mundell says he plans to create a full mount out of.
Mundell’s bear was so big, in fact, that he had to wait a day to get help hauling it out of the woods. And once he got to the weigh station, the bear was lifted out of his truck with a backhoe, according to The Recorder.
Massachusetts Fish and Game officials recorded a 498-pound field-dressed weight (without the guts) which turns out does not qualify for a state record, according to Marion Larson. That distinction goes to a bear taken in Southwick in 2012 that weighed 541 pounds field-dressed.
“Here in Massachusetts we don’t require that bear weights be provided when the bear is reported/checked in—which means our database doesn’t have complete weight information,” Larson wrote in an email to LiveOutdoors.
The bear Mundell shot was with a 12 gauge Accu tip slug. The shot hit between the ribs on both sides, stopping a half inch before exiting, Mundell wrote on his Facebook page.
This year was also the first year that black bears could be hunted during the shotgun season for deer. Rifles may not be used to hunt bear in Massachusetts. There is also a September and November black bear hunting season as well. In 2015, a total of 228 bears were taken by hunters in the state, with 53 of them during the expanded season, Larson said.
For more on hunting bears in Massachusetts, click here.