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B&C World's Record - Cougar

World's Record Cougar

Douglas E. Schuk shot the World's Record cougar in British Columbia, Canada, in 1979.

The World’s Record cougar (Felis concolor) has held its spot in the records book for more than three decades. The animal was taken on a wintry February day, in British Columbia, Canada, back in 1979. The skull scored 16-4/16 points. Douglas E. Schuk shot the animal, but the skull is currently owned by Charles M. Travers. 


View Score Chart

On the day that Schuk shot the animal, his hounds trailed the big tom through 32 inches of snow that blanketed the Tatlayoko Lake region. At 3 p.m., Schuk’s dogs closed in on a cat, just as the sun descended toward the far coastal mountains. Hunters often recognize when a cat has been brought to bay as the excited tone of their dogs is answered by a shrill hiss from the cornered prey. Though cougars are generally tremulous in such circumstances, cats may weigh more than 200 pounds and can kill hounds with a rake from their powerful paws. Having taken considerable time and dedication to train his fine pack of dogs, Schuk knew his animals had a cougar at bay and that he had to make a clean kill or his dogs might be injured. When he reached his dogs and found the cougar, he assuredly took down the impressive snow-speckled cat with a shot from his .308 rifle.

Charles Travers later acquired the skull and when it was officially measured, the new owner couldn't believe the score—16-4/16. That score bested the long-standing world's record, a cougar that scored 16 and was taken by hunter Garth Roberts, back in 1964, in Garfield County, Utah. As a potential record, the Schuk/Travers skull had to come before the Final Awards Judges Panel. They, too, found it to score better than the record Utah cat and confirmed it as the new world’s record cougar. Because the skull was no longer owned by the hunter, it was eligible only for a Certificate of Merit.

Schuk’s world’s record cougar was nearly matched in 1988 by a cat taken in Idaho’s Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness by Gene R. Alford of Kamiah, Idaho. Alford’s cougar, taken on a solo, month-long wilderness hunt, missed the world’s record by 1/16 of an inch. Alford’s cougar was awarded the Sagamore Hill Award for the uniqueness of hunt, and the manner in which Alford’s pursuit of this magnificent cat epitomizes the Boone and Crockett Club’s fair chase ethic.

President Theodore Roosevelt took the original world’s record cougar in 1901 near Meeker, Colorado. That skull scored 15-12/16 points. Predominately gray in their northern range, Roosevelt shot both slate-gray and red pumas (a common name for cougars) in Colorado, thus revealing considerable variation in the color of this uniquely American wild cat.



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

-Theodore Roosevelt