This year New Jersey's 6 day bear hunt which coincides with the 6-day Firearms deer season was another great success as hunters took 469 bears(592 last year). On December 9th the state record black bear weight was broken not once but twice in less than a 24 hour period!
The first of the 2 was take by Taxidermist John Noon(mounted my brother's 202lb sow from last year :thumbup) on state land in Montague, NJ. The bear weighed 669lbs dressed with an estimated live weight at 776lbs! The estimated live weights are arrived by taking the weight as registered by scales at the check station and adding 18 percent to account for what is left in the woods when the animal is field-dressed. This broke the state record that was set in 2005 that weighed 739lbs! It took approximately 8 hours with the help of 11 total people and a boat to drag the bear out to the road! John said he dropped the bear at 45 yards with his 12ga slug gun with one shot but put 2 more rounds into it for "insurance".
This new record however only lasted about 18 hours! Bruce Headley took an even larger bear in Jefferson, NJ that surpassed this record weighing 703lbs dressed and an estimated 829lbs live weight!!! Bruce reported that he shot 5 rounds at the bear knowing he hit it at least 3 times with going only 50 yards. This bear required 4 men, an atv, sled, come-along and a chainsaw to get out in about 3 hours. Headley's bear measured 6 feet, 11 inches from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail. Hung by its back legs, the bear was nearly twice as tall as Headley and had paws that were at least 50 percent wider than a human male and claws at least as long as a human index finger. The bear was 12 years old.
I actually just sold a car this week to an employee at the taxidermist that is mounting this bear and he said it was an unbelievable sight to see. Headley donated the bear to the state to have mounted and displayed at the Pequest Trout Hatchery for all to see. The taxidermist also spoke with biologists from the state that delivered it who said they darted a bear this spring that weighed in the high 700s. They said that if it ate well over the summer it may approach 900lb before it dens this year. This bear was not taken and is still out there! That's a potential new world record! It's amazing to know these giants are out roaming this state with such a high density population! I said it earlier this year the new world record could come from our state and it's still a very real possibility next year! I believe Headley's bear will now be #3 in the world? Can anybody verify this?
Here's the pics of John Noon's' 776lb bear and a news article about it:
Here's the pics of Bruce Headley's 829lb bear and his news article: