He evaded hunters for the longest time…
But time caught up to him in the form of an auto.
And the driver’s lucky to be alive after nailing this brute!
In life, the large black bear had simply been a nuisance, feasting on enough Cowiche and Tieton fruit during harvest season that orchardists had called out state wildlife officers on several occasions.
In death, though, the bear is practically legendary.
Since he was struck and killed two weeks ago by an off-duty police officer on his way home, photos of its rotund body have been making the rounds.
“My phone was ringing off the hook,” said Tieton taxidermist Ric Shirrod, who lives less than 2 miles from where the bear was struck on Naches Tieton Road, less than a mile beyond the top of the grade. “When something happens like thisin your neck of the woods, people want to know about it and wanted to know if I was doing anything with it.”
When Shirrod was emailed photographs of the bear, he said, “My first thought was, ‘That’s a big bear. It looks like a Volkswagen Beetle.’”
Shirrod’s first thought was that the bear might weigh 300 pounds. Maybe 350. “But bears are hard to judge,” he said.
Morgan Grant’s first guess was 350 or more.
“It was just a big, beautiful bear,” said Grant, a state wildlife enforcement officer who came eye-to-eye with the animal while searching for it in an orchard in hopes of trapping and removing it.
“I’m betting I wasn’t 25 yards from him, and he was just sitting on his bottom looking at me, like he had this really big-ol’ ear-to-ear smile, like he was saying, ‘Hey, sorry, I’m not going to get in your trap today.’ And I sure wasn’t about to go over and try to wrestle him.”
Grant described it as “this bulky, hulky, cool-looking bear. He looked like a real athletic, muscled bear.”
Read more here