Spring black bear season in Montana got underway April 15. And it's one to remember for at least one Montana hunter.

Paden Braaten and his hunting companions Chandler Braaten and Garrett Domagala were able to get a fairly early jump on the season last week, in the famous None of Your Business Valley in Don't Even Bother to Ask County. Actually, if we had had a chance to press Paden on the matter, he might have divulged at least some location details. No matter. Black bears seem to be getting more plentiful in Montana, and there's bound to be some big ones among the ranks in at least several areas of the state.

The website huntmontana.com tells us that the average, good-sized black bear harvested in Montana will measure approximately five feet from nose to tail. Their size can be hard to field judge from a distance when you're making the decision whether or not to try to harvest, unless you have a lot of experience looking at bears.

According to the Montana Outdoor Radio Show, Paden Braaten knew this was not a bear that needed to be looked over carefully. He could tell it had huge hind quarters, ears that appeared tiny in contrast to its large, broad head, and a big, boxy front end.

The black bear measured an impressive six feet, seven inches from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail. While the weight of the animal was not revealed, one that size would likely be in the 250-300 pound range, if not larger.

Congratulations on an epic hunt, guys.

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