Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
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Michigan hunter shoots monster black bear [photo]

Marquette, Mich. — Greg Reimus from Beaverton may have shot the biggest black bear in the state for the 2017 season. Hunting on property he owns in the UP’s Schoolcraft County on the evening of Sept. 11, Reimus killed a monster bruin that had a dressed weight of 525 pounds, and a live weight that was close to 600 pounds.

Greg Reimus shot a black bear on Sept. 11 that dressed out at 525 pounds and had a live weight of nearly 600. (Contributed photo)

“We had him on a 550-pound scale, but it maxed out before his head was off the ground,” Reimus said.

The bear’s head was big, just like the rest of him, and could easily have weighed 50 pounds. Greg said the animal’s head was so heavy that he couldn’t lift it for photos.

“I had the bear I shot on camera for quite a few years,” Reimus said. “When it takes nine years to get a license, hunters have to wait a long time to be able to hunt. The last time I had a bear permit was in ’08.”

The first time Reimus got photos of the bear was in 2010. He estimated the bruin’s weight at 280 pounds then. Since then, he watched it gradually get bigger.

“Three years ago, the bear was really big then,” Reimus said. “It looked like he was putting on 50 to 75 pounds per year.”

Reimus applied for a bear license every year, always applying for the first hunt starting on Sept. 10, hoping the big bear would still be alive by the time he got a tag.

Reimus got a tag this year and when he started placing bait, he was pleased to find out the big bear was still in the area by way of his trail camera that monitored the bait site.

“A new bait I started using this year may have been the ticket for getting the big bear to come to the bait during legal shooting hours. I got some honey slurry from a friend and mix some of it with oats, roll them into balls about the size of a golf ball and sprinkle Kool-Aid on them before freezing. I put out about a dozen the last couple of times I baited my spot.”

As an added attractant, Reimus burned a pair of scent sticks while hunting.

“I thought about hunting with a bow and arrow, but the wind was bad,” Reimus said. “I knew I would probably only get one chance at this big bear and I wanted things to work out in my favor.”

Reimus hunted with a .300 Winchester Magnum rifle from an elevated stand about 45 yards from the bait. He also wore scent control clothing to reduce the chances of being winded.

He didn’t see a bear on opening day and had to wait until almost 8 p.m. the following day before seeing the bruin he was waiting for.

“I heard a branch break behind my blind 20 minutes earlier that may have been the big bear circling me. Fortunately, he didn’t smell me,” Reimus said. “All of a sudden, he was just there in front of me. I instantly recognized him. When he turned broadside, I hit him through both lungs. He ran right by my stand 10 yards away.”

Reimus said he had to locate someone with a 4-wheeler to help him get the bear out of the woods. There was no way he was going to move the beast himself.

The monster bruin is Reimus first Michigan bear. He shot a 250-pounder in Alberta, Canada.

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