KARNS CITY — Timothy Kiser’s big kill earned him a big moment recently.
The Karns City resident bagged a 714-pound bear standing 8 feet, 2 inches tall near Bradys Bend in November of 2011.
Kiser, 53, knew it was big at the time. He just didn’t know how big.
“My buddies and I guessed it was around 400 pounds,” Kiser said. “The game commission weighed it and we were way off.”
The bear scored a 22 11-16 Boone and Crockett points, the inch measurement coming by length of skull without lower jaw and the greatest width of skull.
It tied for the 10th largest bear ever bagged in Pennsylvania and the 17th largest ever bagged in North America.
“And it was all luck,” Kiser said, laughing. “The thing practically came to me. The hunt took all of 10 minutes.”
Kiser bought a bear hunting license after his family moved to Karns City 11 years ago, only because he spotted them on the property from time to time. He has been a deer hunter for 40 years.
“I was actually out trying to find a buck I spotted the day before when this bear was standing on a hillside staring at me,” Kiser said. “I just turned and shot him.
“He took off into a big cornfield out behind our house and I found him laying there dead, about 20 rows in.”
Now Kiser finds himself in the record books.
Every three years, Boone and Crockett holds a banquet in Reno, Nev., recognizing the top five big-game kills of the past three years. Kiser’s bear came in third on the list, so he was invited to the banquet.
“I couldn’t pass that up,” he said. “It was something I knew would never happen again.”
The Boone and Crockett Club’s 28th Big Game Awards Banquet took place at a casino July 20.
Kiser’s trophy will now be listed with nearly 5,000 other outstanding trophies in the Boone and Crockett Club’s Big Game Awards book available this fall.
“He had the third biggest bear bagged in North America in the past three years,” Boone and Crockett representative Justin Spring said. “Pennsylvania has some of the biggest bears in the world.
“Hunters can’t bait them, can’t use dogs to track them. ... You have to be in the right place at the right time. Bears can age in that state.”
Spring said 13 of the 24 largest bears ever bagged in North America came from Pennsylvania.
The estimated age of Kiser’s bear was 15 years old.
“The biggest game caught in the last three years was another black bear from Pennsylvania,” Kiser said. “That guy’s bear measured 23 3-16.
“Like me, he lucked into it. He said the bear pretty much came to him.”
Every trophy honored at the banquet was flown there and put on display in a trophy room adjacent to the banquet room. Kiser said nearly 450 people attended the fete.
“There were rams, elk, moose, lions ... all kinds of trophy game on display,” he said. “Some were there from Africa. People spend tons and tons of money every year going after big game.
“I just happened to get one walking out of my house.”
Kiser’s bear has been mounted in the foyer just inside the entrance to his home. It’s been gone for a few weeks as Cabela’s shipped it to Reno and back.
“It’s in Wheeling, W.Va., now,” Kiser said. “I have to go pick it up.”
As for any future bear hunts?
“Not worried about it,” Kiser said. “I don’t care if I never get another one. I’ll never top this.”
“The biggest buck I’ve ever gotten was an 11-point, back in 2002. That’s what I’m into. I love archery. I don’t know anything about bears.”
Except that he bagged a big one.
“I’m 6-foot-1 and that thing dwarfs me,” he said.