It was a remarkable archery season for black bears in north Georgia, and the gun opener brought in a flood of bear reports to the GON office. Judging from those reports from hunters across the state, this year’s black-bear harvest is on track to be off the charts.
Here are two of the most impressive kills from archery season. One is the heaviest black bear ever killed with a crossbow in Georgia. The other is the heaviest Georgia bear ever killed with a bow.
GILMER COUNTY CROSSBOW BEAR WEIGHED 573 POUNDSShane Newberry, of Ellijay, had seen this enormous Gilmer County black bear twice before, but it never offered him a shot. On the morning of Sept. 19, Shane was 25 feet up a tree overlooking a clearcut when the giant walked up. Shane let a crossbow bolt fly from about 25 yards just after shooting light. The bear crumpled from the heart shot after going just 20 yards. It’s the heaviest black bear ever killed with a crossbow in Georgia. It was green-scored at 20 3/4 Boone & Crockett (21 is the minimum for the B&C all-time records ). Shane thanked Jesus for the opportunity to harvest such a magnificent animal.
RECURVE HUNTER TAKES 566-LB. BRUISER FROM 9 YARDSStephan Patton, of Blairsville, was stalking the edge of a corn field at Noontootla Creek Farms in Fannin County when he got within 5 yards of the largest Georgia bear ever taken with a bow on Sept. 25. Walking, he paralleled the beast down the rows of corn until he got a 9-yard shot on it with his recurve bow. Stephan said he was so close he could hear the bear breathing. The bear was green-scored at 21 1/2 inches Boone & Crockett.