A hunter in a “relatively accessible area” of Fairbanks, Alaska, has nabbed the largest grizzly ever bagged, according to the Boone and Crockett Club, which verifies record bruins by skull size.
Larry Fitzgerald, who was looking for moose last year when he and his friends came across Big Ben, shot him from 20 yards away with a Sako 300 rifle, Fox News reports.
He didn’t know it at the time, but Fitzgerald’s bear was the second biggest ever measured, with a 27 6/16-inch head — only 7/16 of an inch smaller than a bear found in Alaska in 1976.
Bears are experiencing a bull market, says Richard Hale, chairman of the Boone and Crockett Club’s Records of North American Big Game committee.
“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,” Hale says.