Dennis Chastain, Pickens outdoorsman and naturalist, recently harvested a huge black bear on a stillhunt in Pickens County. He was hunting with a friend on Horse Mountain unsuccessfully for three days. They made a move to Pinnacle Mountain near Table Rock on the fourth morning.
After reaching the desired elevation, they separated. Chastain went to a spot where three years earlier he had harvested a 400 pound bruin. There was scattered sign in the area and it didn't take long for the action to start.
At 7:15, a large bear appeared at 40 yards. Chastain immediately fired at the bear with little apparent effect. The bear started ambling away. He shot it twice more and shortly after the third shot, the bear collapsed. All three shots had struck vital areas, but it took moments for them to take affect.
When Chastain approached the bear, he saw that it was huge and called to recruit help to drag it out. It took four people over four hours to drag the bear to a spot where a four-wheeler could reach it. After a 15 minute drive, it was transferred to a tractor and taken to Holly Springs Grocery where it was weighed. The bear weighed 485 pounds and was the biggest reported in the week-long stillhunt in the mountain region.
Chastain has been a very successful bear hunter. He is a frequent contributor to South Carolina Wildlife magazine and other publications as well as being involved in environmental causes and is an expert on upstate petroglyphs by native Americans.