Blackpowder Bears

Safari Club International (SCI) has some of the most extensive and authoritative record-keeping of big game animals from all over the globe (www.scirecordbook.org). The SCI log of bears comes from several continents and covers a number of species. Here are some of the biggest bruins bagged by SCI sportsmen choosing to use limited-range muzzleloading firearms. With the possible exception of the polar bear, the Alaska brown bear is the largest land-dwelling carnivore in the world. Commonly weighing nearly half a ton, it is considerably larger than its close relative the grizzly or the brown bears of Europe and Asia. This massive Alaska brown bear ranks number three with SCI for muzzleloaders, and was taken by Thomas Cwynar in October, 1997 along the Copper River, Alaska. It scores 25 9/16-inches.
Steve Bruggeman traveled to Norwegian Bay, Nunavut, Canada in May, 2004 to take this 4th best SCI polar bear by a muzzleloader. The massive beast had a skull measuring 25 9/16-inches, with teeth nearly as long as a human index finger.
Coastal black bears living along the Pacific Northwest are bigger than inland black bears. SCI makes a distinction in the bruins for record keeping. This one taken by overjoyed muzzleloader Douglas Salomon is the largest recorded. It has a skull score of 21 2/16 inches, and was collected on Alaska's Prince of Wales Island in May, 2005.
Brian Park took this number one SCI ranked common grizzly bear by a black powder hunter in August, 2005, while hunting Alaska's Game Management Unit 24. The bruin scores 24 2/16s.
This No. 6 SCI inland black bear was collected by muzzleloader Terry Comer while hunting near Saskatchewan's Meadow Lake in April, 2007. With a score of 20 12/16s, it's a once in a lifetime trophy.
Scott Doxey traveled to Russia in May, 1998 to down this number one SCI Kamchatka brown bear by a muzzleloader. The behemoth bear has a skull measuring just under 28 inches!
Ranking 4th in the SCI records for inland black bear is this trophy taken by Jerry Beck in June, 2003 from Sheffield Lake in Newfoundland, Canada. Outfitter Craig Wiseman led Beck to the bear, which had a 21 7/8-inch skull.
John McCormick's coastal black bear scores 19 6/16-inches, ranking it 10th in the SCI records for muzzleloaders. Bagged on June 1, 2008, the bear was taken with outfitter Russ Bouveur, in British Columbia, Canada.
It was a cold and snowy mid-April day near Cantwell, Alaska when muzzleloader Lawrence Epping shot this number 3 ranked SCI common grizzly bear. Taken in 1992, the bruin is even more impressive considering how primitive black powder equipment was back then compared to today.
The head on this oversize coastal black bear is nearly big enough to match a grizzly body. It ranks number 2 for muzzleloader hunters for coastal black bears with a 20 12/16-inch skull. William Keebler took the bruin during a self-guided hunt on Kosciusko Island, Alaska, on May 24, 2005.
California isn't usually noted for giant inland black bears. But muzzleloader Alfred Luis dropped this giant last October in Mendocino County while hunting with outfitter Matt Zoost. It had an impressive 21 4/16-inch skull, good enough for a No. 5 muzzleloader ranking in SCI.

Big bruins are impressive in their power and strength. Here are some of the biggest and baddest ever taken with muzzleloaders