A farmer in upper Michigan who was harvesting corn was rewarded with more than a bumper crop a few years ago. He came home with a trophy few will ever have. Neil Schlough was picking corn when he felt the combine hit something and the outside snout of the combine was pushed up. When he stepped out of the combine, he saw he’d hit an animal and at first thought it was one of their dairy cows that had gotten out, ate too much corn and had died.
But it wasn’t. Neil had hit a huge, male, black bear that was denning in the corn field. DNR wildlife specialist Jess Carstens said, “This is a thing that, for whatever reason, is happening quite regularly that [bears] are denning up in the middle of fields and corn fields seem to be particularly common due to the amount of debris from harvesting the corn that’s on the ground. There’s a little more stuff to pull in on top of them as they snuggle into the hold that they’ve dug.”
The bear was estimated to weigh 700-720 pounds, was seven feet tall and the taxidermist estimated it to be 15-20 years old. Mr. Schlough was having the bear mounted and was going to name it Hercules. And amazingly, his wife has no problem with it being displayed in their home.