Contributors to this thread:
Last B&C Polar Bear?
I was looking at the records for Polar Bear and noticed something very odd- the current P&Y World record Polar Bear at 26 10/16” does NOT even meet the minimum Boone and Crockett score of 27”
Can someone check and see when the last 27” or larger polar bear was killed?
I assume Alaska closing may have affected the overall size of bears? Maybe Alaska has genetics for bigger skulls?
Does anyone have access to a Boone and Crockett record book?
Well, I’ve got some older ones; the 11th, 12th, and 13th editions. That’s 1999-2011. Also have the awards books going back to 1989. What exactly are you looking for?
I show a 27 5/16 from Alaska in 2007 in my 2011 book. I’d guess this was taken by a native Alaskan.
There are a few from 1997 from Nunavut Territory.
The online database only shows two B & C entries since 2000. One is the aforementioned 27 5/16 from Chukchi Sea, AK in 2007 and the other is a 27 6/16 from Home Bay, Nunuvat in 2000.
What is it you want to know, WW?
I just want to know how recently a B&C caliber Polar Bear has been killed, and where. also for historical data where the bulk of the 27"+ bears have come from.
I want to see if 27" is a historical number not realistic for the current huntable populations in NUN.
Based on Pope & Young having 0 polar bears over 27" it does not bode well for big bears. Thanks cowkiller- only 2 B&C entries since the year 2000!
So the info I would like now is how the shift occurred. I am interested if more bigger bears were killed in Alaska back in the day? Also if historically bigger bears were killed in NUN.
Makes me wonder if AK closing put more pressure on NUN and older age class bears killed off? Or if there has been habitat degradation in NUN, or if its just a genetics issue with NUN bears....
I ask this because I'm going to hunt a polar bear :)
I think the big issue is that bears aren’t getting scored because we can’t bring them back. I shot an ancient, huge, boar but never had him scored. I would guess most guys that have killed bears since the ban don’t get them scored. Are there B&C bears being killed in Nunavut? Absolutely, but they’re not getting scored due to the ban. They’re killing HUGE bears out of Grise Fiord every year.
How many big bears are killed in Alaska by natives? I doubt those bears are getting scored.
Kota- how big do you think that bear was?
I didn’t think about the lack of scoring….
I’m still surprised though that the P&Y world record doesn’t even make B&C minimums.
I have no idea, but it was a big, mature/old bear…. Huge percentage of these bears are not getting scored due to “logistics”.
Pope and Young scores the top bears that get "called in for panel measuring" for the biennial banquet up in Canada....a few years back they were measured in Edmonton, Alberta. Of course any P&Y measurer here can score them for entry into the record book. I would think that there are a number of B&C scorers in Canada that could measure the rifle kills as well. We have a several in my local area that also measure for P&Y.
And Kota, that looks like a dandy bear.! You ought to get it measured for B&C.
And to add a bit of info, at the Grand Slam convention a few years ago an archery polar bear (mine) took the top spot for the year.
My take is not many hunters (archery or rifle) want to trophy hunt for the largest bear possible due to living out on the ice in a tent -30* to -40* weather, combined with the cost of the hunt if you are unsuccessful. There is also the challenge of estimating the bear's size prior to releasing the dogs. Once the chase is on, you are more or less committed to take the bear in order to get the dogs back.
Thanks for the info Kurt. I still assume your bear didn’t break the 27” mark?
I wonder if there is an archery polar bear kill out there that is the new P&Y WR…. Though I doubt it based on how few have surpassed 27” lately
Just looked at the B and C trophy search online-everything up to the #90 Polar Bear in the book was taken before 1970. The #90 bear was taken in 2000. It is 27 6/16".
There's a lot of big ones out there!
Mine was 25-5/16. Big fat bear taken 4 years ago tomorrow. Long ways from 27 though.
I think non-native hunter’s take about 10% of the bear harvest each year in Nunavut. Assume some nice ones are comprise the other 90%.
A.Paul’s Bowsite thread from last August sure had photos of large bears at his lodge in Northern Manitoba (eating berries…contrary to what is typically inferred that polar bears only eat seals…or more crazy that they fast in the summer because there is no ice).
Posted by APauls as I was writing a response!
Do Safari Club records list any recent B&C caliber Polar Bears? I don’t ever look at their records so don’t have any idea.
Good point on looking at SCI- will do today.
Also B&C does accept “pick up skulls” so if any finds a dead bear it can still be scored.
Thanks No Mercy- know the top 90 B&C bears were killed before 1970 says a lot.
Can you see how many of those were killed in Alaska?
Where are you hunting polar bear?
My apologies-I missed the one bear, #79 (27 8/16) that was shot in 1996 in Nunavut in my earlier search. All the others are from AK.
I'll stay out of the political fray that is polar bear populations. Contrary to what many think though; they aren't just laying down and dying. One day I'll have to root through our servers to show you guys some of the slob bears hanging around. Now the buggars are killing beluga whales in a rare and unique area. Some of these monsters are now gaining weight during the summer months fresh off popping seal pup jelly beans in the spring and roll out onto the fall ice at records weights.
A few more points I learned- Many of the B&C bears were killed via airplane back in the day- fly the pack ice til you found a track then follow till you found the bear. Land and shoot it.
Since that is no longer legal, harder to cover vast tracks of ice to find a huge bear
I don’t have access to SCI online but found some top 10 lists- Edit image tools deleted pic
This won't help you with your quest, but just for interest sake:
Where I live is most likely the southernmost range of the polar bear in North America (the southeastern tip of James Bay, which is part of Hudson Bay, which is part of the Arctic Ocean).
There are some real monsters out on the bay.
AND, the polar bear presence has nothing to do with the popular "everything is because of global warming" syndrome. I can personally vouch that they have been around for the 52 years I've had connections to this area... and our oldest elders tell me that they have always been here.
Wilderness...your info is a bit dated for archery kills. Right off the P&Y website and out of the top 10, looks like 7 are taken in the 2000's: Hunter: Jimme R. Ryan Score: 26 10/16 Location: Cape Brown, NT Year Taken: 4/10/2008
Hunter: Edwin DeYoung Score: 26 6/16 Location: Hanley Bay, NUN Year Taken: 4/28/2002
Hunter: Richard McIntyre Score: 26 6/16 Location: Artic Ocean, AK Year Taken: 4/29/1958
Hunter: M. Robert DeLaney Score: 26 Location: Resolute Bay, NUN Year Taken: 4/9/2007
Hunter: Gary F. Bogner Score: 26 Location: Resolute Bay, NUN Year Taken: 4/21/1989
Hunter: Larry Jones Score: 25 14/16 Location: Chukchi Sea, AK Year Taken: 4/8/1965
Hunter: Jamie Allen Score: 25 12/16 Location: Resolute Bay, NUN Year Taken: 4/20/2012
Hunter: David L. Duncan Score: 25 11/16 Location: Holman, NT Year Taken: 5/1/2007
Hunter: Frank S. Noska, IV Score: 25 11/16 Location: Norwegian Bay, NUN Year Taken: 4/26/16
Hunter: Tom Foss Score: 25 10/16 Location: Baffin Bay, NUN Year Taken: 5/2/2014
Kurt- That is SCI not P&Y .
I know many have been killed recently but what is in stark contrast to other species NONE of the P&Y entries meet the minimum B&C score
Dogsled SCI non over 27”
Dogsled SCI non over 27”
Here it is again since the image tools stinks here.
Based on the history evident in B&C I think a couple things are in play-
Genetics - Alaska Polar Bears grow bigger skulls.
Hunt method- Airplanes to chase big bears no longer ethical makes it harder to find the remaining big bears in hunt-able areas.
Bowhunting popularity started right when Alaska closed Polar bear hunting. This has kept archers from the bigger bears.
For those who like to hunt bears you know 1” on skull score is big, and 2” is a huge difference! So it’s nice archers are killing 25-26” Polar bears but that is tiny compare to the Booner Bears of old with 28- 29 15/16” skulls !!!!
I can only imagine a skull just shy of 30"!!! Unreal! Good luck on your hunt and please keep us posted!
Good luck, hope you get a great bear.
As an aside, look what popped up on my desktop calendar this AM....
LOL! That Far Side is one of my all-time favorites and I kept one hanging in my office for a long time. Right next to it was the one with the kid pushing the door to get inside the School for the Gifted.