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Alaska Bowhunter’s Grizzly Bear Could Be the New World Record


This massive grizzly bear could beat the Pope & Young Club’s world’s record by one inch. 

Bowhunter Rodney Debias took the grizzly near Unalakleet, Alaska back in 2009. The Pope & Young Club – North America’s foremost record keepers for bowhunting trophies – is reviewing the bear’s skull for the new world record, as part of the organization’s biennial award ceremony.

Whether or not it’s the world record grizzly, one thing is for certain: this bear was enormous. It’s skull has an initial score of 27 3/16 – a full inch larger than the current world record. A panel of Pope & Young judges will review the skull to determine the final score, which may differ slightly.

Debias found the pending world record grizzly during an eight-day hunting trip on the tundra near Unalakleet not far from where the current world record grizzly was killed in 2004. Debias penned the tale of the hunt in a 2011 article for He came within 10 yards of the grizzly without being detected, but he could tell the animal knew he was nearby.

“Suddenly he stopped, nose in the air, nostrils flared,” Debias wrote. “I could hear him draw a deep breath. He exhaled. I could smell him. He drew another breath, this time curling his lips outward. I was amazed at his size. He exhaled again. He knew something was up.”

The bear walked past Debias without noticing him, giving the hunter enough time to line up a 30-yard kill shot. The bear went down at 60 yards, and Debias claimed a once-in-a-lifetime harvest.

Five years later, Pope & Young is reviewing the bear’s skull for their biennial convention and awards banquet.

“At the close of every two-year biennial recording period, numerical awards and honorable mentions are awarded to the most outstanding bow-harvested animals in each species category that have been entered during that recording period,” wrote Pope & Young in a press release. “New world’s records are verified and proclaimed, and awards are presented to these outstanding animals during the Pope and Young Club’s biennial convention and awards banquet.”

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Featured image via Pope & Young Club

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Alaska Bowhunter’s Grizzly Bear Could Be the New World Record