One more big Maine bear: NY hunter bags 522-pounder in The County

When you’re bear hunting, sometimes it pays to stay put, even when you haven’t seen any critters approach your bait in days.

Just ask Matt Knox of Pennsylvania, who used that tactic while hunting with guide Steve Monroe of Grand Slam Guide Service last week, and bagged a state-record 699-pounder.

Some times, however, a little change of scenery can work out just as well.

Ben Cottrell (left) of Middle Grove, N.Y., and his father, Tom Cottrell, pose with the 522-pound black bear that Ben shot while hunting in New Canada recently. Cottrell was hunting with guide Brent Watson out of Lugdon’s Lodge in Eagle Lake. (Photo courtesy of Brent Watson).

For proof that the latter tactic works, consider the story of Ben Cottrell, who recently hunted with guide Brent Watson out of Lugdon’s Lodge in Eagle Lake.

Watson explained that Cottrell, who lives in Middle Grove, N.Y., had bought his bear hunt at a 4-H auction, and brought his 87-year-old dad, Tom, to northern Maine to enjoy the experience with him.

“What made this kind of interesting was, Ben had hunted another site Monday night,” Watson said. “Tom tagged along [with a guide while he baited other sites]. He walked down to this particular site, and took a picture.”

That night, Tom showed the photo to his son and helped convince him that it looked like a pretty good place to sit in a stand.

[When he switched stands I told him] ‘This would be really special if you were able to shoot your first bear at a site your dad had been to and that he helped us bait,'” Watson said he told Ben Cottrell. “Sure enough, it all worked out.”

It worked out in the form of the biggest bear a Lugdon’s Lodge hunter had tagged in seven years of operation, Watson said.

The bear was a chunky 522-pounder that measured seven feet from nose to tail.

“[Ben Cottrell] was very happy [when we showed up to pick him at the end of that day’s hunting],” Watson said. “He said we were going to need more people [to carry the bear out of the woods].”


John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.