The largest grizzly bear ever taken by a hunter has been entered into Boone and Crockett records.
The big bruin, taken in 2013 near Fairbanks, Alaska, scores 27-6/16. It missed the World's Record mark by 7/16 of an inch but landed a spot as the second-largest grizzly ever recorded. The reigning World's Record is a skull found in Alaska in 1976.
Bears are scored based on skull length and width measurements.
Conservationists use Boone and Crockett trophy data to gauge outstanding habitat, strong recruitment of game animals into older age classes, sustainable harvest objectives and other elements of sound wildlife management and fair-chase hunting.
Grizzlies are symbols of our willingness to accommodate large predators and wilderness, but hunter Larry Fitzgerald of Fairbanks found his trophy boar in a location that seems counterintuitive.
"One would think that a relatively accessible area, with liberal bear hunting regulations to keep populations in line with available habitat and food, would be the last place to find one of the largest grizzly bears on record," said Richard Hale, chairman of the Boone and Crockett Club's Records of North American Big Game committee.
Hale said the area is being managed for an overpopulation of grizzlies. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game liberalized hunting regulations to help balance and control bear predation on moose. Baiting is allowed although Fitzgerald stalked his trophy.
"Grizzly populations are doing well across all their ranges. That includes populations in the Lower 48 states that are currently federally protected under the Endangered Species Act, but will soon be up for delisting and management authority turned over to the watchful eye of state wildlife managers," said Hale.
Hale added that Boone and Crockett Club recognizes found or picked-up trophies, like the reigning World's Record grizzly which scores 27-13/16, alongside hunter-taken trophies because all are useful for documenting historic conservation successes.