87 and climbing a tree... nuts.
"You know, a bear is something you can't play with," says 87-year-old Cecilia Smith, but last week, a bear on the Northern Peninsula learned that the Hawke's Bay woman wasn't something to play with either.
Smith suspected that a bear was coming around her cabin. Concerned about the safety of herself and her property, she set a bear snare.
When she returned last week she found a 200-kilogram black bear waiting for her in the trap.
The longtime hunter, of everything from beaver and coyote to moose and caribou, immediately shot the bear.
Catching the bear was the easy part, she said. The real problem was getting the dead bear into the truck with the help of her 81-year-old husband.
"We tied a rope on it, and I couldn't get it out, so I went up in a tree and I hooked it around some limbs on a big spruce there, and he backed the truck right in under the tree for me, and I lowered it down in the truck," she explained.
Smith and her husband first told neighbours in Hawkes Bay that they'd grabbed the bear by its four paws and swung it into the truck.
"There's people still think today that's the way we loaded it," she said.