Pennsylvania Man Kills 679-Pound Black Bear at 5 Yards With Handgun: Report

November 22, 2018 Updated: November 22, 2018

A man in Pennsylvania killed a nearly 700-pound black bear with a .357 handgun during the state’s bear harvest that lasts four days.

Jordan M. Tutmaher said he spotted the black bear near a Christmas tree farm, YourErie reported.

He shot the bear, which weighed 679 pounds, from 5 yards away, Nov. 17, the report stated, which added that he killed the bear at 8 a.m. local time.

Last Saturday, some 1,241 black bears were shot and killed across the state, said the Pennsylvania Game Commission. In 2017, only 659 bears were taken.

The report said the largest bear that was shot was 704 pounds.

State regulations say that hunters can take only one black bear per season.

A number of states have banned bear hunting on public lands, including New Jersey in 2018.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy issued the order on Aug. 21.

“I am fulfilling my commitment to stop the bear hunt to the greatest extent of my authority by ordering the Department of Environmental Protection to prevent bear hunting on all public lands under the DEP’s jurisdiction,” Murphy said in a statement.

Cody McLaughlin, a trustee with the nonprofit New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, which opposes efforts to stop the hunt, estimated that about three-fifths of hunters use public lands when hunting various quarry.

State officials have estimated around 3,500 bears live in northern New Jersey, and McLaughlin estimated that New Jersey has the densest bear populations on the continent.

He said Murphy’s decision ignored scientific studies that show hunting is an effective means of population control, particularly in densely populated New Jersey.

“Honestly, I’m a little shocked and distressed,” McLaughlin said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.