Frank R. McCollum poses with the bear he killed, weighing in at 150 pounds.
Frank R. McCollum poses with the bear he killed, weighing in at 150 pounds. (SUBMITTED)

The York Springs hunter who killed the first legally harvested black bear in Adams County's history believes he had seen the bear sporadically roaming his property months before he shot it with his bow in October.

Frank McCollum, of York Springs, shot the 150-pound male black bear about a mile north of Bermudian Springs High School in Latimore Township during bow season on Oct. 17.

McCollum believes the bear had been wandering around the area of his home since mid-summer. His daughter first saw a bear in the backyard of the family's York Spring home in July, he said. But the bear sightings continued. McCollum said a bear was seen at least once a month on the trail cameras he set up around his property.

He said he believes this is the same bear he shot on Oct. 17.

McCollum saw the bear again the Saturday before he shot it. The bear walked right underneath the tree McCollum sat in while hunting deer. He took a picture of it on his cellphone, not knowing he was allowed to shoot.

When he showed the picture to his friends later, they were the ones to break the news. They told him he was allowed to kill the bear during bow season with a valid bear license.

"I felt sick to my stomach that I missed the golden opportunity," McCollum said, after his friends broke the news.

Luckily, McCollum saw the bear again as he was hunting for deer. The bear was out just before sun rose, McCollum said.


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He was surprised to see the bear so early, but knew this was his chance.

The bear was about 100 yards from McCollum, which took about 10 minutes for the bear to walk. McCollum took the shot at about 10 yards from the base of the tree.

The game wardens checked the bear in at McCollum's garage because the bear station weren't open at that time. They told McCollum his harvest was the first in the county's history. Then his wife, Lisa, put the news on Facebook.

"Lots of people showed up at the house to celebrate. Some I didn't even know," McCollum said.

McCollum said he plans to share the meat with friends. Although plans for the body are still in the making, McCollum said he will definitely be doing something with the first bear killed legally in the county.

He only started to hunt bears a couple of years ago, but not in Adams County. He usually went up north, near Snowshoe for bear hunting. But now, he might just stay in the county to hunt. Although hunters are only allowed one bear a year, McCollum said he is looking forward to harvesting a bear next year.

"I'd like to do it again," McCollum said.