"Killed him last night. Weighed 360 pounds," reads a status update on Alex Chastain's Facebook, referencing a photo of the former Cartersville High Schol baseball player posing with a deceased black bear.
Chastain used his bow to take down the bear, which he thinks was following his path—and human scent—to a tree stand on family land where he had been deer hunting, reports The Daily Tribune News.
“I was running out of shooting light and so I was going to go ahead and climb out of my tree, so I climbed down my tree and stepped out of my stand and I picked my bow up off the ground and started to untie my pull-up rope, then when I looked up there was a bear about 10 yards away from me,” Chastain told the newspaper.
Black bears—omnivorous animals whose diet consists of whatever is readily available at the time—can be found in the north Georgia mountains and along the Ocmulgee River drainage system, according to the state Department of Natural Resources. Their numbers have increased to a "healthy" population of more than 5,000 in Georgia.
Game wardens receive numerous bear nuisance calls every year, according to the DNR, although they most often live in forested areas, "especially mature mixed pine stands that offer a plentiful supply of natural foods and trees and thickets that they can escape to for security."
This month, an adult and two juvenile black bears were seen roaming neighborhoods in nearby Cumming and Forsyth County.
Have you seen or heard about black bears or other wildlife in or near your home?