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RAYBURN TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A hunter from our area bagged one of the biggest bears taken during this year’s season in Pennsylvania. It was 600 pounds and seven-feet tall.

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“I would have taken a small one for my first one, but I can’t complain about a 600-pounder,” said 25-year-old Bo Bowser, of Rayburn Township in Armstrong County.

He grew up in a hunting family and last week after 13 years of trying, he bagged his first bear in Valley Township.

“He was down by a creek, so it was nice and loud,” said Bowser. “I was able to sneak up on him.”

When the bear turned around and looked at him, Bowser’s reaction was: “Whoa!”

It took four shots to take down the bear, and it was only after it was down that Bowser truly realized its size.

“If we had shot him anywhere deep in the woods, we wouldn’t have been able to get him out,” said Bowser.

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They slowly floated the bear across the creek and then called in help to get him to their ATV. Friends and Bowser’s dad all pitched in.

“Five guys, 45 minutes to drag it 15 yards,” he said.

He gave the meat to some friends, and now it’s at a taxidermist while he figures out whether to have it mounted, which could cost $3,000.

“You can’t just put it in the corner of your living room,” said Bowser. “It would take up some serious space.”

As for next bear season, Bowser says he’ll be back at it, but will keep his expectations in check.

“Of course, definitely,” said Bowser. “I mean, I’ll never shoot a 600-pounder again. But, like I said, sometimes luck is on your side.”

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While the Game Commission says this was one the biggest bears taken this season, it was not the biggest. The biggest was in Venango County at 700 pounds!

David Highfield