Record black bear killed in Silver Water area

Record black bear killed in Silver Water area

SILVER WATER—A seasonal resident has downed a large black bear that has been a nuisance in the Silver Water area.

Nathan McPhee explained that the bear shot by Laura Norrish, age 20, “is the third largest bear ever harvested in Ontario by a female using a crossbow, according to the hunting records I have for the province. Even looking at statistics all-time she would have been 150-160 overall in Ontario for the largest bear harvested.”

“There is one less nuisance bear in the neighbourhood,” said Mr. McPhee of the bear who had been a nuisance on his property this summer.

“Laura has been living at a cottage on Barrie Island for the summer, and has done her second year of nursing at Seneca College.”

Mr. McPhee explained that he has a cottage near Silver Water, and it was on this property that Ms. Norrish harvested the black bear on Saturday, September 8, 2012 using a crossbow.

“This was her first ever animal harvested,” said Mr. McPhee. “The size of the bear is calculated by skull measurement. But this bear would have been approaching approximately 400 pounds.”

The harvested bear skull is at the University of Guelph, 60 days drying period, and Mr. McPhee pointed out he got his copy of the Ontario hunting record books, and Ms. Norrish is now placed second for the crossbow kill of a bear.

Mr. McPhee explained, “this bear has been harassing me all summer, he even shook my truck when I was videotaping him one day, and he was into the campsite one night and ripped the door shed off. I am proud and happy Laura got this bear.”

 Tom Sasvari



  1. thats to bad, the bear was just trying to live his life… in his territory, which was most likely near your campsite. Poor guy, I undertstand if you enjoy eating this animal and harvesting it for a good reason, but don’t just kill it because it is being a “nuisance” . In my culture the Black Bear is a very spiritual animal.

  2. I don’t find this especially impressive. It is one thing to protect your property but it is another to display a creature that has been killed in the fashion that you have. Why do you find it necessary to advertise the disgusting thing you have done. The bear like all living creatures has a right to live and die with dignity. Words fail me to see this woman smiling over what she has done.

      • Laura will one day grow up and regret the day she posed with this majestic animal in such a manner. How do I know this…..because that would have been me 20 years ago. I grew up and abandoned the blood lust. My father, a military man who served with a formidable British Regiment not known for their sympathetic approach to the enemy, told me when I was in my hunting mad twenties, that I would grow out of the my lust for hunting. Thirty years later he was right, I only wish he was still alive so that I could tell him to his face……?

  3. The article states that, ‘the bear has been harassing me all summer, he even shook my truck when I was videotaping him one day’, well, did you stop and wonder why the bear shook your truck?? You are on what is and has originally been the bear’s property and YOU were harassing the bear, the bear only reacted. If you refuse to have respect for our Island and all that live here, maybe it’s time you seek a summer cottage elsewhere, please.

    • I hope we can still eat animals in the future with all of the bio accumulation of toxins that is occuring. People called Rachael Carson all kinds of things, and now we are facing her predictions. The people you are dismissing have something to contribute and you could express your point more fairly rather than use insults as it is in all of our interests to work together to solve the problems facing humanity.

  4. I am horrified by this, you come here to this Island, you dont even live here for Pete sake, kill a bear who was just trying to live its life and barabarically kill it and pose for a picture with it like a trophy, I hate to see what happens when pr if you have kids and they do something wrong!

  5. I find it funny when people give an uneducated opinion of what others should or should not do . I have as much right to live on Gods green earth as this bear does. That being said when a bear threatens me , my family or my dogs he has more than given me a right and a reason to fill my freezer with this amazing tasting and healthy meat. Survival of the fittest occurs every day in nature . Laura may very well have just saved a relative of yours from a bear that on a full belly still attempted to get at me and my dogs. Would you prefer I contact a O.P.P. or a conservation officer to come and kill the bear and have it go to waste or Laura can make memories of shopping in the outdoor grocery store that will last a lifetime. Killing this bear was done in the most humane fashion possible. Her tag to harvest this animal will see dollars going directly to the conservation and management of lands for wildlife. I could go on forever but when someone has a closed or narrow mind I may be further ahead explaining this to my dogs. I will end on this note. I would bet all the negative comments came from people that drive vehicles ………….. that statistically kill Hundreds of thousands of animals annually. Wastefully .

    Nathan McPhee

  6. Wait until science can prove that a potatoes screams when skinned. What will all the treehuggers eat then?

    Why is it that most hunters go on about their business and say nothing about the choices you treehuggers have made, but every cucumber clown has to push their way of life on everyone else?

    Hunting is legal and is a huge part of our Canadian heritage both native and non native peoples.

    Congrats Laura and happy hunting (over and over).

  7. I have mixed feelings on the photo myself, to aboriginal people the bear represents medicine and is looked upon as kin. Its skeletal frame is very similar to a human, that is one of the reasons it is revered in aboriginal culture. The bear has a set of teachings and knowledge that comes with it, also why Native people do not eat bears. On the other hand , too many of them on a small island can wreak havoc especially to small communities that have a waste dump in their backyards. If you can see them in the communities, this is not natural behaviour, it means there’s something in the environment making them come out, As to why, they are coming out is the bigger question. My personal opinion If it was a danger, to this lady who killed the bear, then kudos to her. In Aboriginal way of life, its customary to lay down some tobacco for the bears life, for the said reasons. Meegwetch.

    • Not all aboriginal people revere the bear..depends on if it is your clan..the Mi’kmaq people traditionally ate bear. Some still do, some don’t. I am all for harvesting for the right reasons..I am against trophy hunting.

  8. Congratulations on the very nice Black Bear. Well done!

    Don’t let the negative comments bother you. They come from poor souls that have been feed a steady diet of incorrect secondhand information.

    May there be many, many joyful hunts in your future!

  9. Why would you berate tree hungers, if not for them you wouldn’t have an environment for the bears. If you hunt or fish you should be a hugger or you won’t be able to have a great outdoors.

  10. Ever hear of animal relocation, i understand if there a danger, but to go as far as eatin it, ur sick, wat pork n chicken beef, deer, fish, moose rabbit, partridge, isnt enuff for ya? you kno when u skin a bear it looks human. And im native.

  11. I’ll tell you what is a nuisance world-wide. Humans! Nevermind these bears, who are losing their habitats to our ridiculous population growth and greed! OF course they’re going to be roaming for food, because we’re destroying it all! I’m all for the bears man. Too many people in this world.

  12. As a First Nation person I was taught to hunt for our own needs for survival and not to kill for the sake of killing. If the bear was a problem then the proper authorities should have been called in to remove and relocate the bear. I am not here to condemn your actions but merely trying to give you an option that I feel should have been taken. Each insect, bird and animals all have a reason to be on Mother Earth. Do not destroy for the sake of destroying.

  13. Wow, hope you are really happy with your “harvested” black bear….why not just swap “harvested” for killed for no justifiable reason….Don’t give me any BS about the bear being a nuisance either. This just sickens me…..Hope you can sleep at night?

  14. Did she actually hunt the bear? Or did She and McPhee leave food out for the bear repeatedly day after day until she trained the bear to return to that spot and wait patiently until he showed up to have his daily meal and then shoot him? Where’s the sport or hunt in that? I don’t get the appeal or sense of accomplishment. How is training someone/something to let their guard down and then ambushing them worthy of praise? And if anyone tries to dispute it, Mr. MacPhee is know well around Guelph for doing just what I stated above.

    And I’m by no means a tree hugger but I would much sooner be labeled as such than be someone who finds pleasure and joy in the killing of an animal.

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