An 11-year old Wisconsin girl had never seen a black bear before, let alone shot one. Little to her knowledge it might be of the largest bears ever harvested in the state.
Naiya Iraci went out hunting with her grandfather, Michael Frank, on September 9, the first day of Wisconsin’s bear season. Iraci spotted the large black bear from roughly 27-yards away.
To Frank’s surprise, she “dropped [the bear] with one shot”.
He wrote on Facebook the next day about the experience. “Proud to say, my hunting partner, Naiya… took a #718.5 Black bear yesterday evening.”
The sixth-grader and her proud grandfather first saw the massive animal on Frank’s property in Clark County. Iraci admits to “kind of shaking” at first glance at the bear, but she hit the target from 27-yards away.
Frank said they later went out and dressed the animal in the field to preserve its meat and weight its entails with guidance from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Bear For the Record Books
After field-dressing the black bear, they weighed the animal on two certified scales. It clocked in at 720 pounds, however, Franks estimates it weighing closer to 813 pounds before dressing.
Although the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources does not measure state-record by weight, they use measurements from the bear’s dried skull to determine a winner.
“The skull now has to be cleaned and then dried for 60 days before it is officially scored,” Frank wrote on Facebook. He also said that his taxidermist measured the skull at around 22 inches, and thinks the animal will “definitely” enter the record books.
Frank continued, saying, “But now we will have to wait until the official score comes through. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed for Naiya’s bear’s placement in the record book.”
DNR wildlife biologist Matthew Gross says that to his knowledge, the unofficial record was held by Dennis Arndt with a 780-pound bear in 2014 or to an 802-pound one back in 1885.
On the other hand, Gross believes Iraci’s bear “could potentially” beat out both of those bears.
He says that field-dressed bears typically weigh an extra 10-15 percent when alive.
[H/T Fox News]