A bear hunter shoots once-in-a-lifetime white bear in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania’s extended bear season earlier this month produced a black bear few have ever seen, much less taken. Jeremy Gross’ 2015 bear is an albino, pure white from its head to its paws and has the trademark pink nose and eyes characteristic of albinos. “It’s the biggest rush I ever had hunting,” Gross told the Times Leader.
He downed the bear on Dec. 4 in Columbia County on private property on the third day of Pennsylvania’s extended bear hunt. Gross, along with family and friends were doing drives for deer and bear. It was during a break between drives that Gross spotted the rare sow bear standing on a hillside. A single shot downed the rare bruin.
“When I got up to it my legs just locked up,” Gross said. “Other members of our group came down and no one could believe it. It was surreal.”
The sow dressed out at 138 pounds and is estimated to be around four years old. Apparently, she had cubs that were normal in coloration. It didn’t take long for news of Gross’ success to spread. His phone started ringing non-stop and word spread quickly via social media.
“A lot of people we passed with the bear stopped and wanted to get pictures,” Gross told the Times Leader. “No one ever saw anything like it before.
There had been rumors of a white bear in the area, but Gross had never seen it until his hunt. While stories of albino and piebald deer harvests seem to pop up multiple times a year, an albino bear is a much rarer occurrence. A Pennsylvania Game Commission bear biologist interviewed by the Times Leader, Mark Ternent, had only heard of four taken in his 15-year career.
And for the biologist working the bear check station where Gross brought his rare harvest, it was Kevin Wenner’s first time ever seeing one. “It was a remarkable opportunity to see this bear,” Wenner told the Times Leader. “It might be the only one I ever see.”
Of course, with a special harvest, Gross has some special plans for it. “No other hunting memory I have even remotely compares to this,” Gross said. He’s already picked out a spot for the full-body mount in their home.