One McCreary County bear harvested in modern gun bear season
By the end of the first day of Kentucky’s third modern gun bear season, the hunt quota of 15 total bears or five females (whichever comes first) was surpassed. Hunters in the sixteen county hunt area harvested a total of twenty-one bears, including eight females. With the quota reached, the hunt, as required by law, closed within thirty minutes of 9:00 p.m. on Saturday night.
McCreary County served as the check point for McCreary County hunters as well as those hunting in Pulaski, Whitley, and Wayne Counties. Three bears were processed through the McCreary County checkpoint.
Ronald Gilreath of Marsh Creek in McCreary County harvested the only McCreary County bear, a 156 pound female, at Jones Hollow in the western part of McCreary County.
Gilreath, who hunted in all three of the annual modern gun bear seasons, was pleased with his harvest.
“Jones Hollow is nothing but mountains and cliffs,” Gilreath exclaimed as he described the terrain he encountered on his hunting trip. Gilreath said he sat, walked, and then finally lucked out when he spotted his bear.
Gilreath plans to make a rug from the skin and, with a laugh, commented.
“I might try eating a piece of bear meat, but I’m not real sure about it,” he laughed. “I’ve got a brother that will eat it. He’ll eat anything!”
Two additional bears were harvested in neighboring Wayne County by Wayne County residents.
Successful Wayne County hunters included Samuel Phillips who brought his 244 pound, male bear through the McCreary County check point. Phillips harvested his bear in Wayne County just across the McCreary and Wayne boundary line.
“I was within sight of the river,” Phillips shared.
Phillips plans to make a rug and looks forward to eating bear roast and bear stew.
Donald Stinson harvested a third, 230 pound, male bear in Wayne County.
During the check point process, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel checked the measurements of harvested bears and also checked weight and sex. Hair samples were taken for DNA analysis, and a tooth was extracted to send to a lab to confirm the age of each bear. The bears were also checked for ticks and tracking devices.