An Oklahoma woman’s first bear is now also the state’s first record-sized black bear!
Jean Thomison didn’t set out to get a record last October when she harvested the 275-pound bear with a crossbow that scored 19 8/16.
“I would have been happy with any size bear,” Thomison said a press release by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “God just gave me the chance to harvest a big one.”
Thomison’s first bear didn’t come easy. Her first day on stand on the private property where she eventually bagged the bear turned out to be rather uneventful.
“I was in my stand about 10 hours the first day and didn’t see anything,” she said.
The next day, after a short nap, things got a little more exciting. She woke up only to see the 77-inch-long bear lumbering towards her.
“Here came this big bear from behind me, going down the same trail to the bait barrel,” Thomison said. “The distance was only 14 yards when I took a good shot. My adrenaline was going 90 to nothing!”
The private property the bear was taken on is located in Le Flore County, approximately three hours away from where Thomison and her husband Ralph live. The drive meant a lot of extra effort for the huge bear.
“We went down there several times to fill bait barrels,” Thomison said in the release.
The bear easily qualifies for the state’s Cy Curtis awards program for record animals in Oklahoma. The state’s minimum score must be 19 or greater to be eligible. The four-year-old bear’s skull was 12 13/16 inches wide and 6 11/16 inches wide. The two numbers add up for the final score of 19 8/16.
The bear also checked an item off Thomison’s bucket list. She has wanted to harvest a record animal since she took up hunting after marrying her husband Ralph.
“We both love to hunt and fish,” Thomison said in the release. “We are both very competitive.”
It’s safe to say Jean’s first bear is not one she’ll soon forget!