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B&C World's Record - Black Bear

World's Record Black Bear

The World's Record black bear skull was found near Ephraim, Utah, and shipped to Boone and Crockett headquarters in Washington, D.C., where it was examined by experts at the Smithsonian to determine its authenticity.

On July 1, 1975, the world’s record black bear skull was found along the edge of the Manti-La Sal National Forest, about seven miles east of Ephraim, Utah. In the West, black bears are occasionally seen in sub-alpine meadows, but generally prefer the shelter of trees, where they quietly move in and out along the edges of the forest. Such was the setting where Merrill Daniels and Alma Lund discovered the record skull. Daniels and Lund were unable to determine why the bear died, but they recognized that the animal's carcass, which was slowly decaying in the summer heat, was immense. 


Using the Boone and Crockett Club’s skull measuring system this animal received an entry score of 23-10/16. However, because the score exceeded the previous record by more than an inch, Daniels and Lund's incredible find was greeted with skepticism. To quell speculation, Daniels and Lund shipped the skull to the Boone and Crockett Club’s Washington, D.C. office, where it was examined by experts at the Smithsonian Institution.

After undergoing careful comparisons with type specimens, as well as other identification criteria, Daniels' and Lund's find was declared to be a bona fide black bear skull. In 1980, the trophy was awarded a Certificate of Merit in recognition of its outstanding trophy character at the 17th North American Big Game Awards Program. Pick-ups are included in record tabulations, in order to enhance the scientific value of the Boone and Crockett records and to complete the standard by which sportsmen may judge their best trophies. San Pete County, Utah, was also the location of the previous Utah state record black bear, which was taken in 1970 by by Rex W. Peterson, who was accompanied by Richard Hardy. That skull scored 22-6/16.


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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt