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Man Harvests 650-Pound Black Bear in Virginia

American Black Bear

The 650-pound black bear recently harvested in Virginia by a local hunter, was one of the largest ever killed in the state. 

Patrick Coffey of Reva, Va. was deer hunting when he came across a 650-pound black bear on a farm in Fauquier County.

The 650-pound black bear is one of the largest in the state’s history, according to Virginia wildlife officials.

Lee Walker, a spokesman for the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, told reporters that an average black bear weighs anywhere from 300 to 400 pounds.

Walker spoke of Coffey’s 650-pound black bear saying, “That’s a black bear of a lifetime for any hunter.”

Coffey was out with his 19-year-old son and some of his friends hunting for deer on a large farm they have used for years. The 650-pound black bear was about 300 yards away when the hunting group first saw it, according to Coffey. He could see the bear from this distance due to less foliage on the trees. Coffey then approached the black bear and eventually fired a shot, through its chest, at 130 yards.

The 650-pound black bear measured eight feet from nose to tail, but when Coffey brought it to the scale he was unable to determine its exact weight. The scale only went to 550 pounds.

Coffey told reporters, “It went past 550, he is easy 650.”

In December of 2000 a man in Virginia harvested a 740-pound black bear in the Suffolk area. More recently, a bear weighing 728 pounds was shot near Keysville.

Virginia has a healthy black bear population that officials estimate to be around 17,000. Officials attribute these numbers to more acorns for bears to eat, mild temperatures, and strong reproduction activity. On average 2,000 black bears are harvest by hunters in the Old Dominion State.

black bear
Washington Post

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Man Harvests 650-Pound Black Bear in Virginia