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Hunter gets massive black bear in Letchworth State Park

Letchworth Bear.JPG

Mount Morris, N.Y. (WHAM) - On Tuesday, Matthew Sphar from North Java, was deer hunting with a friend at Letchworth State Park when he spotted a large black bear.

"I looked over a real steep hemlock hill and the bear was just up on its feet just , looked like he was probably scratching the leaves eating acorns," said Sphar.

Sphar thought quickly. He knew that Letchworth State Park was allowing bear hunting, and that he had a tag for a black bear.

"It was a weird deal, it seemed like kind of weird when I shot him actually," said Sphar. "It was a good animal, good sacrifice, the Department of Environmental Conservation has their reasons why they want some of these bears eliminated, they're actually worried about too many bears."

According to Letchworth State Park Manager Roland Beck, this is the first year the park has allowed bear hunting. It's in response to the growing bear population and in line with the DEC's 2014 Black Bear Management Plan.

Beck tells 13WHAM they plan to continue to allow bear hunting next year.

Sphar tagged the bear on 19th of Dec. last day of muzzleloader season.

The bear, a male, was between 300 to 400 lbs. and measured 80” in length. He would have been more than six feet tall when standing.

Matt said he was able to harvest approximately 100 lbs. of meat from the bear.

Sphar's bear was one of three tagged in the park this season.

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