This season marked Matt Knox’s first time hunting for black bear. After trying his patience in a stand for six days, he finally harvested one. Little did he know this giant black bear would beat the Maine state record set in 1993 by 19 pounds.
Knox, an Army veteran of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, booked a hunt through Grand Slam Guide Service located in the Moosehead Lake Region of Maine. Grand Slam’s guides Jim Webber and Steve Monroe plant bait in undisclosed locations where the hunt takes place.
In a phone interview with Outdoor Hub, Monroe chuckled a bit when I asked him what bait he uses. Laughing, he said he wouldn’t divulge his secret formula, but he told me he baits with four ingredients. Doughnuts, a special grease and two other secret ingredients.
Although Knox was discouraged to sit in a stand for five days without seeing anything, Webber convinced him to go back on Friday, showing him trail cam photos that revealed the presence of a large bear in the area near Greenville Junction where the stand is located.
In a phone interview with Bangor Daily News, Knox said “He [Jim Webber] told me to be patient. “Once the bear got used to my scent in that area he’d more than likely come in early [during legal shooting hours].”
So when the bear came into the clearing, Knox took his lucky shot with a .45-70 Marlin using special hand loads. By the time Knox and his guides got the bear back to camp it was 11 pm, so they put the monster on ice, wanting to weigh it, knowing it must have weighed at least 550 to 580 pounds. After one unofficial weight of 705 pounds, they headed to a state-certified scale at Herring Brothers Meats in Guildford. The official weight of the bear was 699 pounds.
Monroe said Knox was ecstatic. “When he left here, he was still shell-shocked,” Monroe said.
Knox easily beat the previous record of 680 pounds set by Richard Moore of Allentown, Pennsylvania on September 13, 1993. State records for fish and game are kept by the Maine Sportsman.
Now, Knox is back in Pennsylvania as Grand Slam’s latest beaming customer.
Image courtesy of John Longergan/Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife