Alaskan Bags World Record Grizzly

Skull nearly 30 inches across

Maybe fortunate news for smaller grizzlies: there's a new standard for the biggest one ever shot. (Wikimedia Commons)

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.

(Larry Fitzgerald)

More Adventure