Hunting big game is exciting enough as it is, but if you really want to get your adrenaline pumping, try hunting an animal that would have no problem ripping you to shreds if it got the chance. We dug through the archives to bring you photos of some of the biggest and baddest predators from around the world and the hunters who were gutsy enough to pursue them.
Jeff Ingram took this massive mountain lion last January in Montana with the help of his friend and houndsman Jim Evenson. Evenson runs his dogs all winter and found plenty of tracks when lion hunting started in December. It was great practice for the dogs, but most of the cats were females.
On January 21 Igram, Evenson and their crew cut a big track at 9 a.m. They set the dogs loose and gave chase through three feet of crusty snow.
After about an hour they crested a ridge and heard the dogs bawling from the head of a canyon. The hunters followed the tracks for another hour before they found a massive tom perched in a tree hissing and baring his teeth.
Ingram made a perfect shot with his bow and the cat was dead by the time it hit the ground. It weighed 186 pounds and green scored 15 10/16 inches.
The big cat is set to qualify as the Pope and Young record lion for Montana.
THE BOW WHITE BEAR
OL reader Donill Kenney went on an archery polar bear hunt in Resolute Bay, Canada. To fight off the the subzero temperatures he wore this Inuit caribou suit.
Polar bears are considered by many to be the most dangerous bear in the world, but Donill was undeterred. He took this great bear that scored 23 12/16.
A huge bear paw.
This is the mounted bear. Donill stands 6’4 and weighs 250 pounds.
BIG BAD WOLVES
Patrick Aucoin has the No. 1 archery record for wolf in the SCI book, a remarkable accomplishment for this difficult to approach predator. His huge and beautiful animal came from the snowy reaches of Alberta, Canada, near Grande Prairie. With a score of 17 12/16s, it was taken in March 1998.
This gray wolf scoring 16 12/16s is a lot to carry for hunter Yury Kudro, who took this animal with a rifle near Leningrad, Russia. It ranks No. 2 for the species by hunters in Asia.
Noted hunter Jim Shockey claims this SCI No. 2 North American gray wolf for a muzzleloading hunter. It was taken near the Rogue River in the Yukon, Canada. Its skull measured 16 12/16s, and was taken September 14, 2006.
This No. 4-ranked Asian gray wolf was collected in October 1996 by Nina Sorensen in Kazakhstan, Central Asia. The animal had a skull score of 16 6/16s inches.
This beautiful black wolf with silver highlights fell to Charles Turner in 2003, during a mid-September hunt with guide Art Napoleon near the Muskwa-Prophet Rivers in British Columbia, Canada. The canine had a massive skull measuring 17 10/16s inches.
Bowhunter Willie Krueger arrowed this beautiful wolf with Big Bear Country Outfitters in Alberta, Canada. It’s the No. 2 SCI ranked bow trophy for wolves, with a 17 3/16s inch skull.
Sergei Yastrzhembskiy looks cold, and well he should be in Volgograd, Russia, where he bagged this beauty of a gray wolf that’s nearly as big as he in late February 2003. It ranks number three in SCI’s European division, with skull score of 16 7/16s inches.
Bowman Byron Sadler zipped this nice gray wolf during a hunt with guide Butch King with Wildman Lake Lodge outfitters near Wildman Lake, Alaska. The trophy ranks No. 6 among SCI bowmen, having a skull score of 16 6/16s inches.
Jay Link downed this oversize Asian gray wolf in Mongolia during an October 2003 hunt. It measures 16 6/16s inches, and ranks No. 4 for the Asian species.
It was a cold and snowy first week of January 2005 when Luciano Ponzetto pulled the trigger on this 15 6/16s-inch gray wolf. Taken in Belarus with guide Pavel Zhuk, it ranks 12th in SCI for European gray wolf.
This outstanding, huge, and mostly white wolf fell to archer David Paul Tschida during a mid-June 2004 hunt to Alberta, Canada near Fort McMurry. He was hunting with Poplar Ridge Outfitters when he arrowed this 17 3/16s wolf, good enough for the No. 2 SCI bow record.
Cliff Gustin collected this giant 17 9/16s-inch gray wolf during an April 2000 rifle hunt to British Columbia, Canada, along the Fraser River. Darrel Collins guided Cliff to this No. 4-ranked SCI trophy.
Sergei Yastrzhembski again, this time with an Asian gray wolf measuring 16 inches, good enough for fifth place SCI in the region. Sergei was hunting with local people near Naryn, Kyrgyzstan, in October, 2003.
Larry Fischer has the longest-standing bow gray wolf record in SCI, with this 16 10/16s-inch canine, taken near Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada in August, 1990. Robert Huebschwerlen, with Macmillan River Outfitters, led Larry to his trophy.
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.
Handgun hunter Kris Johnson downed this 13-foot-9 toothy lizard from gator-infested Lake Okeechobee in South Florida. Kris was on a self-guided hunt when he collected this number one gator taken by a handgunner.
Lake Okeechobee, Florida again was the place to be for a big gator when rifleman Scott Anglin took this 13-foot-6.5 gator during a mid-June night hunt.
This number one SCI ranked alligator by crossbow was shot along Florida’s St. Johns River by Nelson Lopez-Reyes. Nelson guided himself to this oversize 13-foot-6 trophy on a Sept. 1, 2006 hunt.
With a head as big as a man’s torso, this 13-foot-5 specimen was collected by rifleman Michael Fairbanks while hunting with Hampton & Hampton Guide Service out of Melbourne, Florida. The gator was taken Nov. 2, 2005.
Scott Talbot hunted in early July 2007 to take this third best SCI gator by a handgunner. The 13-foot-3.5 reptile came from Florida’s Lake Okeechobee.
This 13-foot-2 alligator is the largest ever taken by a hunter hurling a harpoon. Guide Phil Walters led hunter Troy Duff to this Florida trophy in late September.
Livingston, Texas was the place hunter Danny Vines visited to collect this 13-foot-1 alligator. Using a rifle, Vines hunted with outfitter Steve Barclay in May 2007.
Florida’s Lake Griffin yielded this number two SCI record gator by harpoon to hunter Ed Whalin. The 13-foot-.5 lizard was taken in mid-September 1997.
Cesar Deleon shot this number four SCI handgun record alligator one mid-September night, 2007 from South Florida’s sprawling, shallow and lizard-filled Lake Okeechobee. It measured 13 feet in length.
More than twice as long as a man is tall, this 12-foot-10.5 gator was taken in May, 1996 by archer Eugene Morris with guide Lee Lightsey. It’s the number one SCI gator taken by a bowman.
This is the second top SCI gator record held by hunter Kris Johnson. Like his number one SCI record by handgun, this, his number two handgun record trophy, was taken from Lake Okeechobee. It measured 12-feet-8, and was harvested with guide Paul Calcaterra in mid-September 2003.
This number two SCI crossbow trophy was anchored by Lane Kinney in Lake Talquin, Florida, located near Tallahassee. Measuring 12-feet-7.5, it was arrowed the night of Sept. 15, 2003.
MONSTER S.C. GATOR Mary Ellen Mara-Christian caught this massive alligator in South Carolina while fishing with her husband Mark and guide Kevin Davis of Blacks Camp.
The gator weighed 1,025 pounds and was 13.5 feet long.
Mary Ellen, 48, is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs about 115 pounds.
New Zealand waters gave up this record 802-pound bigeye thresher shark to Dianne North in February, 1981. It was caught off the town of Tutukaka.
Hard-fighting and common is the blacktip shark, and this 270-pound, 9-ouncer is the biggest on record. It was landed by Jurgen Oeder in September, 1984 off Malindi Bay, Kenya, Africa.
Dusky sharks are common in many waters, but ones this size are rare. This 764-pounder is the largest ever caught, according to IGFA. It was taken out of Longboat Key, Florida in May, 1982 by Warren Girle.
Greenland sharks aren’t as abundant or as notorious as some other species. But this 1,708-pound, 9-ounce giant deserves plenty of respect. It was caught by Terje Nordtvedt, in October, 1987, out of Trondheimsfjord, Norway.
Bucky Dennis set the fishing world in a spin when he caught this massive great hammerhead shark at Boca Grande Pass, on Florida’s Gulf Coast during the May tarpon run. The 1,280-pound goliath was taken on 130-pound class tackle, and is the largest recorded for the species by IGFA. Incredibly, Dennis reports seeing other much larger hammerheads at Boca Grande.
Gaye Harrison-Armstrong is dwarfed by this 533-pound, 8-ounce all-tackle world record narrowtooth shark. She caught it off Cape Karikari, New Zealand in January, 1993.
Nurse sharks have the reputation of being docile, but one the size of this 263-pound, 12-ouncer would get anyone’s attention. Nic Jeter caught it in July, 2007 out of Port St. Joe, Florida, setting the IGFA all-tackle record for the species.
The oddly-named porbeagle shark is a close relative of the mako, and is a hard-fighting, jumping shark that’s also tops on a dinner plate. It’s a good bet that angler Christopher Bennett had his hands full when catching this IGFA all-tackle record out of Caithness, Scotland in March, 1993. It weighed 507-pounds.
This all-tackle IGFA world record salmon shark looks a lot larger than its 365-pound weight. But that’s still about twice the size of angler Thomas Farmer, who caught it off Valdez, Alaska in August, 2005.
Australia is well known for yielding gargantuan fish, like this 762-pound, 12-ounce silky shark, caught by Bryce Henderson in February, 1994. It was taken out of Port Stephens.
Billy Furnish went to Malindi, Kenya, Africa to boat this 398-pound, 2-ounce silvertip shark. It’s the biggest on record at IGFA, more than twice the size of the angler. It was taken in September, 2001.
The sixgilled shark is not only rather rare, but gets rather huge, as this record 1,298-pound specimen proves. It was caught by Clemens Rump in November, 2002 off Ascension Island, in the South Atlantic Ocean.
David Hannah holds the men’s 50-pound line class world record for this massive thresher shark, officially weighing 767-pounds, 3-ounces. The catch was made in February, 1983 at the Bay of Islands, New Zealand.
This nearly one-ton tiger shark is twice as long as angler Kevin Clapson is tall. The catch was made in March, 2004 near Ulladulla, Australia, setting the all-tackle record mark, and the 80-pound line class IGFA record, too. Its official weight was 1,785 pounds, 11 ounces.
Few IGFA all-tackle world records are more famous than this one of an over one-ton white shark. Caught out of Ceduna, South Australia by Alfred Dean in April, 1959, this behemoth weighed an incredible 2,664 pounds. It was subdued on 130-pound class tackle. For more photos go to
We’ve rounded up the biggest wolves, bears and mountain lions from our archives. Enter at your own risk.