Record confirmed for black bear harvested in Silver Water area

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MANITOULIN—Laura Norrish, a seasonal resident of Barrie Island, now holds the record for having harvested the largest bear by a female, using a crossbow, in Ontario.

“I received some really good news yesterday,” stated Ms. Norrish, in an interview with the Recorder last week. “My boyfriend was talking to a friend who is an official scorer for these type of records, and he was saying in the sixth edition of the Big Game Records of Ontario book I was in seventh position overall, but all those ahead of me had used guns to harvest bear. I now have the record for having harvested the largest bear by a female using a crossbow in Ontario.”

Ms. Norrish had also told the Recorder, “I will be receiving a certificate in the mail shortly with my bear’s official skull size and score on it. The skull was officially scored at 19 inches, and this is the measurement they use to determine the record. I will be in the 7th edition of the FROW Big Game Records of Ontario book, the 6th edition is currently out and that is what I used to calculate where I officially stand for the records. My boyfriend, Nathan McPhee, is the owner of the property in Silver Water where I shot the black bear.”

As reported in the September 21, 2012 edition of the Recorder, Mr. McPhee explained the bear had been a nuisance on his property last summer. “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.”

Ms. Norrish, age 20, lived at a cottage on Barrie Island last summer, and has completed her second year of nursing at Seneca College. Mr. McPhee 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 the first ever animal Ms. Norrish has harvested. The harvested bear skull was sent to the University of Guelph for a 60 day drying out period before being measured.

“It is pretty amazing,” stated Ms. Norrish, who said the bear she harvested was at least 350 pounds.

“I will definitely be back on the Island bear hunting next summer,” said Ms. Norrish. She explained Mr. McPhee is also a taxidermist and had a bear rug made for her which he presented in time for Christmas. “It fills one whole wall in my bedroom and a small piece of a second wall as well. And the coolest thing about all of this is that it is a Manitoulin Island bear at that.”


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