A 700-pound black bear has set a new record for the biggest North American black bear taken with a bow. The bear was killed by Jeff Melillo with a bow on private land in Morris County, N.J.
The bear was shot on Oct. 14, 2019. It surpassed the previous world record bear, shot by Robert J. Shuttleworth Jr. in Mendocino County, Calif., on Sept. 4, 1993, according to Pope and Young.
It comes as no surprise to many hunters that the new record came from New Jersey. Melillo sited an article in outdoor life that predicted the next record bear would come from N.J. Bear hunting has been limited in the state causing bears to get dangerously big.
New Jersey’s black bear hunt has become controversial in the past few years since Gov. Phil Murphy pledged to end it. Murphy, could not stop the hunt all together but was able to prohibit it on state lands in 2018. This policy prevented hunting on more than 40% of New Jersey hunting land. Hunters can only hunt on private land.
“It’s important to note that it’s not an accident that the new record bear came out of New Jersey,” McLaughlin said. “And that’s because our bear population has never been thicker, especially when you take away 40% of the land people can hunt on. There’s nothing stopping these bears from growing to enormous sizes. This needs to be a wake-up call.”
The official score for the bear is done by measuring the skull after a 60 day drying period. The official score was 23 5/16 inches done by Pope and Young. imagine seeing a bear with a 2-foot head!