Young hunter's black bear may be a new state record.
Hunting season has just begun in many states for many big game species. In Wisconsin, bear season started off with huge news. Quite literally. Because opening day produced what may very well be the largest bruin ever shot in the Badger State. To make the story even better, the 700-pound beast fell to a younger hunter.
WSAW-TV News reports that 11-year-old Naiya Iraci bagged the giant bruin on September 9, the opening day of bear season in Clark County. To make things even more exciting, it was a first bear hunt ever, not just for Iraci, but also for her grandfather Michael Frank.
She was hunting with Frank on his property north of Hatfield when the bruin lumbered into view and she made a 27-yard shot to bring the massive animal down.
"I was nervous, I was kind of shaking," Iraci told reporters in a video interview.
Warm weather forced the hunters to dress the animal out quickly that evening to avoid meat spoilage. The animal still weighed a whopping 720 pounds dressed! Frank estimates the live weight to be over 800 pounds. The skull must be cleaned out and dried before being officially measured. According to the Wisconsin Buck and Bear Club's online records, Iraci's bruin would have to best a bear scoring 23 5/16 inches that was taken in Monroe County in 2010. Coincidentally, Clark County is already home to Wisconsin's second largest bear, a bruin that scored 23 3/16 inches in 2011.
"I'm not a bear hunter," Frank told the station. "My granddaughter wanted to go bear hunting and I was up there all summer, so I baited all summer for her, and it worked out really great."
We think it is safe to say this won't be the last time the two go into the woods after bear. This has been a great year for young huntresses so far. Just last week we reported on a 14-year-old girl harvesting a potential state record 40-point buck in Kansas. Congratulations to Iraci on her harvest from all of us here at Wide Open Spaces!