MOUNT NEBO — Aurora Wilhelm, 7, Avilton, used a .243 caliber rifle to bag a 232-pound boar bear Tuesday evening while hunting on private land near Pea Ridge Road in Garrett County.
Aurora named her 9-year-old sister, Eliza, as her subpermitee as allowed by Maryland regulations. Maryland allows two people to hunt together, but only one bear may be killed. The girls were accompanied by their father, Chad.
Aurora, a second-grade student at Route 40 Elementary School, checked the bear at the Mount Nebo Work Center of the Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service.
“That was one happy family and the shot was spot on,” said bear biologist Harry Spiker.
Paul Peditto, the agency’s director, was on hand. “Truly one of the best check-station moments of my 20-plus year career,” Peditto said.
“Dad’s quote was a classic, ‘God blessed me with three little girls to teach me how to be patient.’ Great stuff.”
“Yes, she did shoot and kill it herself with one shot,” said Aurora’s mother, Jessica. “We have had plenty of people say ‘yeah, I bet dad shot it.’ I’m not sure if it’s because she’s 7 or if it’s because she’s a girl or both, but it is aggravating.”
Aurora’s bear will become a presence in the Wilhelm household once the full-body mount is completed.
“We went with the full-body mount because this could very well be a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Jessica said.
Contact Outdoor Editor Mike Sawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org.