Professional bear hunter Jaime Lambert and his friend Mike Clough from Ellsworth, Maine have been hunting a massive black bear known as Zodiac, which has gained popularity in the region for terrorizing the neighborhood.
The bear’s destructive behaviors, such as destroying birdfeeders, destroying garbage cans, and even breaking into homes and garages to search for food, has caused many of the local residents to be on constant alert when venturing outside.
“That bear terrorized my neighborhood, actually,” Mike says of the bear. “He was a bird feeder ripper. He was around houses.”
Jaime and Mike said they had been pursuing the bear for several years after Mike noticed the bear was roaming his property.
Mike, who is a registered guide in Maine and also owns the Green Lake Guide Service, says throughout his guided journeys, he has often encountered the “Zodiac” bear.
“A bear of that caliber is so smart that it takes a certain type of hunter to actually kill a bear like that,” Mike explained. He also added that at first, he thought the bear weighed around 400 pounds.“There are very few people that I know who are as good as Jamie.”
Jamie decided to set up bait to attract the bear and he was able to lure in many other good-sized black bears during the day.
The only problem with trying to capture Zodiac was he tended to show up late at night after the legal shooting period had ended.
“I actually cut the bait off from him for just one day,” the hunters explain.“Trying to make him think that possibly another bear had got in there ahead of him and cleaned it out,” they add.
The intelligent hunters said they also used different routes to their stand, just in case Zodiac was watching, so the bear would be less likely to pick up where the stand was.
“Mike was optimistic,” James said. “But I had my doubts about [the bear] being tricked.”
The good news is, their plan was working and on one particular day when there was about 20 minutes left of sunlight, Jamie heard something big moving around in the forest.
“I knew it was a big animal,” Jamie said. “My first instinct was, it’s him.”
Jamie set his crosshairs on the bear and fired a shot that definitely hit the animal. However, at the time, he wasn’t 100% sure if that was Zodiac or some other bear.
“My biggest bear before that probably was 205,” Jamie said. “I’d seen big bears on camera, but to see that one on the ground is just a surreal thing.”
After finding the bear on the ground, they indeed knew that they had finally got the bear responsible for so much damage in the region.
“So tonight we crushed the 400 pound record with a 516 pound smasher taken of our own land. I knew this was a big bear, but holy cow 516!!!!” Mike wrote on Facebook.