The bar has officially been raised. By decree of the Boone and Crockett Club, the nearly nine-foot grizzly bear taken by Larry Fitzgerald (not the Cardinals' wide receiver) near Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2013 is now officially the largest bear ever killed by a hunter.
The Boone and Crockett Club, which collects data on kills to help monitor hunting practices, measured the bear's skull at 27 and 6/16ths inches, second only to the largest bear skull in known history, found by a taxidermist in 1976.
Fitzgerald himself was more or less nonplussed when asked about his achievement. "I'm not really a trophy hunter or anything," he told Fox News. "But I guess it is kind of cool." Fitzgerald claims he brought down the bear from about 20 yards out with a shot to the neck from a Sako 300 rifle. "We knew it was big," he admitted. "It was a rush."
According to Boone and Crockett chairman Richard Hale, it's highly unusual to find such a large bear so close to an urban area. "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," he said.