Originally published on Oct. 10, 2021By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Cory Kohls wasn’t even on a hunting trip when he shot a 616-pound bear in western Wisconsin.

He just noticed the bear on Friday while driving by a corn field in New Richmond, so he asked the farmers if he could have permission to track down the bear.

“I got one 449 [pound bear] a few years ago, and I thought that was giant bear until I got this one,” he said. “It was unbelievable. It took nine guys to drag him out there.”

(credit: CBS)

Wisconsin’s bear population is on the rise, and it’s legal to hunt them. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources estimates that there are more than 24,000 bears in the state.

In Minnesota, the bear population is around 15,000.