By Mike Dunn
LAKE CITY – The mayor can cross this one off his bucket list.
Brad Seger, with wife Danielle by his side and with invaluable help from a group of guys with specially-trained hounds, tracked and ultimately brought down a black bear in rural Norwich Township on Thursday.
The bear weighed about 350 pounds and had a 29-inch neck, razor-sharp claws and massive biceps. The last of the three shots from Seger’s 30/30 shotgun came from just 6 feet away as the animated, 350-pound black bear was pursuing one of the hounds.
“It was quite an experience,” said Seger, a retired automaker and lifelong hunter who serves as the mayor of Lake City. “This has given me a whole new respect for the ways of nature and these beautiful, amazing animals.
“The whole experience of hunting the bear was enjoyable. It was a little traumatizing and scary at the end but thankfully it turned out well.”
The Segers and the rest of the company followed the sound of the barking hounds along a narrow dirt trail for about a mile, Brad recounted during an interview on Monday. The group finally came upon the excited hounds surrounding a white pine tree located about 30 feet from the Manistee River and not far from the Kalkaska County border. Sure enough, the bear was in the tree and staring down at them.
When the owners signaled for the hounds to pull back, the bear quickly departed from the tree but not before Seger was able to quickly put two slugs into the animal. Even so, the bear moved rapidly away from the scene and toward the river. One of the hounds chased after the bear, which turned quick as a lightning strike and gashed the hound in the stomach. The bear was about 15 feet away when the encounter occurred and then began to pursue the hound, moving in the direction of Brad and Danielle and the others at the same time.
Brad took fast aim and fired again from the shotgun.
The bear dropped almost immediately.
“The thing that amazed me more than anything was just how fast the bear was for being so large,” Brad said.
“The bear dropped out of the tree like a raccoon. It was incredible to watch. He went from zero to 30 in a blink.”
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