The day after killing her first deer, 18-year-old Katlyn Williams of Coats went on her first bear hunt with her friend Joey Oliver. The two were hunting not far from Lake Phelps. Five minutes into the hunt, Williams killed a 645-pound black bear. It is one of the top 5 bears killed by female hunters in the state of North Carolina.

“We got into the stand early and I sat down first. Joey was getting ready to sit down and I saw the bear about 200-yards away from us. I told Joey ‘there he is! There he is!’ and he told me to quiet down. I put the crosshairs on the bear and he told me to shoot whenever I was ready. I pulled the trigger. It ran off a little bit but we knew I had hit it,” said Williams.

Williams and Oliver were in a 10-foot tall stand, and she shot the bear with a .30-06, the same gun she’d killed her first deer with the day before. 

The two got out of the stand and went looking for the bear. They found it less than 30-yards from where it stood when she shot it. While cleaning the bear, Oliver joked that Williams should eat the heart. He cut it out and noticed it was damaged. Upon further inspection, the two found the bullet Williams had shot the bear with.

“I shot it right in the heart,” she said.

Williams is having a half-mount made by Jake Rouse Taxidermy in Garner, and is getting a rug made with the other half of the bear. But that’s not all she’s using from her kill.

“We got a ton of meat off it, and we’ve been eating a lot of it. If you’ve never eaten bear meat, you’d never believe how good it tastes. It is so, so good,” she said.

Several seasoned bear hunters have weighed in on Williams’ kill.

“Some older gentlemen have said they’ve hunted for 40-years and never killed anything that big,” she said.

Even Oliver, her friend that got her into the woods that day, said she has him beat.

“He hunts everything, and he’s good at it, but he said he’s never killed anything that big,” said Williams.

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