Man Expertly Takes Down 679-Pound Beast with Nothing but a Handgun


Late November means different things to different people. For many, it’s all about Thanksgiving and enjoying time with family and friends. Others are already looking forward to Christmas, now only a few weeks away.

For many parts of America, however, November is hunting season. Whether it’s whitetail deer in the north or elk out west, hunters have a lot to look forward to this time of year.

Jordan Tutmaher probably didn’t think he would be making headlines when we got ready for his hunt in Pennsylvania last weekend. Just a few hours after dawn on Nov. 17, however, the man was facing down an impressive quarry: A 679-pound black bear.

That’s one big bruiser. What makes the story even more impressive is that Tutmaher took down the bear with a handgun from only about fifteen feet away.

“That bear was taken at 5 yards with a .357 handgun,” WICU reported. “It was the second largest bear of the day. Tutmaher said he shot and killed the bear at 8 a.m. when the bear appeared in a drive of a Christmas tree patch.”

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The Pennsylvania Game Commission closely regulates black bear hunting with an eye toward conservation. While most people will never come face-to-face with a nearly 700-pound bear, the animals are actually pretty common in the Pennsylvania area.

“More than 1,200 black bears were taken in the first day of Pennsylvania’s four-day black bear season,” the news station explained. In addition to the game Tutmaher took with his expert handgun shot, six other bears over 600 pounds were also taken during the state’s opening day.

That certainly sounds like a lot, but it should be looked at in perspective. Many people don’t think of Pittsburgh as bear country, but the reality is that they are quite prevalent.

“Pennsylvania’s bear population has been increasing for decades, and at the same time, many people have moved into the areas where bears reside. As a result, bears and people are coming into contact more than ever,” explained the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Have you ever seen a bear this large?

“A population estimate in 2015 showed approximately 20,000 bears living in the commonwealth,” state officials continued. “Black bears appear heavy, but are surprisingly agile; they can run up to 35 miles per hour, climb trees and swim well.

“Bears may be on the move at any time, but are most active at dusk and dawn. Bears are omnivorous, eating almost anything.”

The game commission added that most black bears are only around 200 pounds, which shows just how rare and impressive the 679-pounder was.

Despite the predictable outcry from anti-hunting advocates and the political left, responsible conservation is an important American tradition that continues even in the 21st century.

“The Pennsylvania Game Commission is responsible for managing, conserving and protecting all wildlife, and is committed to doing everything possible to keep bear conflicts to a minimum,” the state agency’s website explained.

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“Regulating harvest to stabilize or reduce bear numbers in problem areas and prohibiting the feeding of bears are measures taken to help alleviate conflicts with bears.”

Finding the best balance and being stewards of nature can be tough, but it’s good to see that Pennsylvania takes that obligation seriously … and that all-American skills like using a .357 handgun in the wild have not been forgotten.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.