When a bowhunter took down a large black bear recently in Rabun County, the state record fell as well.
“He obliterated the previous 600-pound record,” Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Scott Frazier said Tuesday.
“This one was 673 pounds,” Frazier said. “It is to our knowledge the biggest bear taken anywhere in the state of Georgia by a pretty significant margin.”
The bear was shot Oct. 1 with an arrow by Tim Watson of Dillard at a location near Mountain City.
While the bear is the state’s heaviest ever recorded, whether it is the state’s largest bear under other standards is not clear. The Boone and Crockett scoring system is commonly recognized for wildlife such as deer and bear, but that involves a measurement of the skull and the body’s length and width.
Watson was encouraged to have the skull measured.
The weight, however, is an official record.
“We did have the Department of Agriculture come out (Oct. 10) and recheck the scale used to weigh the bear and it was spot on,” Frazier said. “They do what is called a scale re-certification.”
“It’s impressive,” Frazier said about the bear’s size.
During the past five years, the DNR has recorded more than a half dozen bears weighing between 590 and 600 pounds, he said.
Black bears do get in the upper-700-pound range in other states, such as in eastern North Carolina, he said.
The age of the bear has not been determined. To do this a tooth was extracted, which will be sent to a lab, Frazier said.
“We send the teeth off after hunting season and we’ll get a report back next spring, typically,” he said.