On December 10, 2022, a retired marine named Daniel Parrot tagged a behemoth of a black bear whereas looking over walker hounds with a bunch of outfitters in japanese North Carolina. He dropped the bear with one well-placed shot from a Marlin .30-30 shortly after first mild. When he and his looking accomplice and information, Billy Barber, approached the downed animal, they have been astonished by its measurement. At 717 kilos, the boar black bear was far and away the most important that both Parrot or Barber had ever laid eyes on.

“I’ve hunted bears a handful of occasions all through my life,” Parrot instructed Subject & Stream. “However this was the primary time that I’ve gone bear looking and felt very assured that one thing was going to occur.” Parrot was invited to attend the hunt as a participant within the Fight Warriors program, a nonprofit with chapters in 5 totally different states that gives fight veterans with prepared entry to looking alternatives. He stated the hunt started round 6:35 a.m. when Phil “Rabbit” Ferguson—the lead information and proprietor of Stormy Ridge Outfitters—let his hounds free on a recent scent. 

Dan Parrot shot the bear beneath the steerage of Stormy Ridge Outfitters out of Engelhard, North Carolina. Dan Parrot

“The radios got here alive inside seconds of the hounds discovering the path,” he stated. “I used to be looking with Billy and two different guys. Once we began listening to the hounds, they moved off to a predetermined spot about 200 yards away. Billy and I moved deeper into the woods, following the sting of a big drainage canal.”

Parrot was looking in Hyde County, North Carolina, not removed from a 46,000-acre chunk of state-owned property referred to as the Dare Recreation Lands. The realm is famend amongst die-hard bear hunters for black bears that attain staggering weights by feeding year-round on a mix of arduous mast and available agricultural crops like soybeans and peanuts.

The biggest bear ever recorded within the Previous North State was killed by a hunter in Craven County—simply three counties south of the spot the place Parrot took his big bruin in mid-December. That bear was taken with a shotgun slug at shut vary. It weighed 880 kilos, however—as a result of its cranium was severely broken—it was by no means entered into the Boone & Crockett file books.

digital scale
Parrot’s bear weighed in at 717.6 kilos on an official digital scale. Dan Parrot

“This space is filled with huge hardwood forests with plenty of oaks and locusts,” Parrot stated. “There’s a wholesome bear inhabitants, and, on the identical time, you might have a comparatively low inhabitants density of individuals. I’ve been instructed that the bear inhabitants exceeds the human inhabitants in a few of these counties.” 

It wasn’t lengthy after Parrot and Barber had break up up from the opposite two hunters that Barber noticed motion about 50 yards away in a thick stand of cypress timber and loblolly pines. “The bear was transferring at a leisurely tempo with none hounds on his quick path when he paused to look in our course for a break up second.” Parrot stated. “After transitioning from iron sights to my scope, I rested the crosshairs behind his shoulder. The bullet hit barely ahead of my supposed level however put the boar down on his proper aspect with out one other step.”

Retired Marine Tags 717-pound Black Bear While Hunting in North Carolina
Parrot and his information, Billy Barber, posed with the huge bear instantly after the hunt. Dan Parrot

Parrot and Barber rapidly closed the gap between themselves and the bear so as “to make sure a clear and respectful finish.” At about the identical time, the looking celebration they’d break up off from earlier within the morning acquired a shot on a bear of their very own. “Inside quarter-hour, two bears have been harvested and the entire hounds have been protected and accounted for,” Parrot stated. 

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With the massive bruin down and the remainder of the crew from Stormy Ridge quick approaching, Parrot paused to take inventory of the monumental job that now lay earlier than him. “After I acquired the bear, I simply type of checked out it, and I assumed: I’m not even positive the place to start out with cleansing him,” he stated.

Ultimately, the opposite hunters and guides confirmed up. The crew used ratchet straps to connect the enormous bear to a plastic sheet and dragged it out of the woods with a side-by-side to a entrance finish loader on a close-by highway. Then, with a heavy-duty strap affixed to one of many bear’s legs, they lifted it up into the mattress of a pickup truck.  “There’s no approach I might have ever packed that factor out alone,” Parrot stated. “The top and the cover alone weighed near 200 kilos.”

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