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December 7, 2015 - 1:53pm

'I just got lucky': Byron man bags 500-pound black bear

posted by Raymond Coniglio in byron, hunting, black bears.

12715_black_bear.jpeg

Jimmy Worthington shot this black bear Sunday morning on his property in Byron. He estimates the bear weighed about 500 pounds.

James Worthington didn’t have much luck hunting deer last week.

No matter — some bigger game found him.

Worthington, 52, bagged an adult male black bear about 10 a.m. Sunday on his property in the town of Byron. 

“I heard something coming, and didn’t know what it was,” Worthington said.

He figured out pretty quickly that it was a bear — and it was just about 20 yards away.

“It turned and was running right at me,” Worthington said. “When it saw me it stopped, and I shot it pretty much right between the eyes.

“After I shot it, it got up and started thrashing around,” he added. “I chased it for another 10 yards and then shot it one more time.”

The bear tipped the scales at 445 lbs. gutted. He estimates it weighed about 500 lbs. when alive.

He plans to have its head mounted.

“The people I hunt with say I should get a full-body mount,” he said. “My wife isn’t too keen on that, but I might do it.”

Worthington’s hunting companions on Sunday included his son James Worthington III, and friends Jordan Charcola, Dave Stackhouse and Dave Stackhouse Sr.

Worthington lives on Swamp Road, and works in construction. He’s been hunting nearly his entire life, but had never even seen a black bear before Sunday.

This week, even the deer were discouragingly scarce.

“I hadn’t seen a deer all week,” Worthington said. “I told myself, ‘If I don’t see a deer I’m going home.’

“I just got lucky, that’s all.”

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