Big, Bad Black Bears

There's something about black bears that captivates hunters. Big bruins are impressive in their power and strength. And, of course, they are fully capable of killing and eating people. They're big, fast, have terrifying claws and dentures, and can climb trees quickly - often to the shocking chagrin of tree stand hunters. Black bears also are plentiful, found continent wide, often within the shadows of even large cities. That, in fact, is something notable when surveying the over 2,300 black bears entered in Safari Club International's record book for the species. Giant, trophy-size bears are found from coast-to-coast, and from Canada to the bayous of the South. Here are some of the biggest black bruins recorded by SCI in their online trophy book (scirecordbook.org).
This top-ranked SCI black bear was taken by bowhunter Robert J. Shuttleworth Jr. It was arrowed during a self-guided September hunt in California's Mendocino County. The oversize blackie had a skull length of 14 inches, width of 9 4/16s, for a total score of 23 4/16s.
BIGGEST BRUINS
This oversize bruin came from Mesa County, Colorado during a September hunt for archer Tom Dyer. With an SCI score of 22 11/16s, it ranks number three for inland black bears.
Bowhunter Dyrk Eddie took this number two SCI coastal black bear on Prince of Wales Island, Canada during a self-guided hunt. This incredible black bear scored 22 2/16 inches, with a skull width of 8 10/16s inches.
This beautiful and enormous black bear fell to rifleman Clay Campbell during an October hunt near Globe, Arizona. Clay was on a self-guided hunt when he dropped the bear, which scored 22 8/16s.
This number three SCI coastal black bear was shot by Peter Rowe on Kupreanof Island, Alaska, with guide Dale Adams. Its skull measured 22 1/16 inches.
Check those claws and massive head on Joel Wiersum's coastal black bear giant. Moresby Island, British Columbia, Canada is where it came from during a late May, 2003 hunt with outfitter Brock Storry. It scores 21 13/16 inches, ranked five in SCI for this bruin subspecies.
Not only is Larry Murray's bow-harvested black bear huge, scoring 21 14/16s, but it is a beauty, with a distinctive chest white patch. The bear came out of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, with guide Brian Cashman, and ranks number 10 in SCI.
Huge is the only way to describe Robert Ballin's coastal black bear, taken in May, 2005 in Southeast Alaska. With a 21 12/16s skull score, SCI rates the trophy at number six.
Rifleman Mark Wilson tagged this sleek bruin near Sitka, Alaska. Guide Brian Smith led Mark to this 22-inch scoring bear during a June, 2000 hunt.
Few black bears are as beautiful or as impressive as Gordon Oosse's heavyweight animal. This number 14 ranked SCI trophy was taken in May, 2007 near Carswell Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada, and scored 21 10/16s.
Bob Gothier is dwarfed beside this 10th rank SCI trophy for coastal black bear. The animal's skull measured 21 5/16s inches, and was taken on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada with North Island Outfitters in May, 2005.
Scott Powers' coastal black bear also scores 21 5/16s inches, so is tied for 10 ranking in the SCI category. The coastal bruin was shot in Southeast Alaska with noted guide Alisha Rosenbruch.
This number nine SCI coastal bear was harvested in May, 2008 by rifleman Wayne Perry, hunting the Alaska coast with, once again, guide Alisha Rosenbruch. It scores 21 6/16s.
Guide Alisha Rosenbruch helped hunter Richard Kessler get in the SCI record book with this 21 6/16s-inch coastal black beast. It was taken in September, 2008, in Southeast Alaska, tying for ninth place in SCI.
William Ecker tagged this Quebec bruin in September. With a 21 15/16s skull measurement, the animal ranks ninth in the SCI book for inland black bear.
Rifleman Howard Johnson needs a two-hand bear hug to lift his giant bruin's head for a photo. The 21 12/16s-inch animal came from Wyoming's Gros Venture Wilderness in May, 2003. Guide Gap Puche led Howard to the bear, which ranks 12th in SCI.

There's something about black bears that captivates hunters. Big bruins are impressive in their power and strength. And, of course, they are fully capable of killing and eating people. Here's some of the biggest and baddest ever taken.