Massive Alaskan Brown Bear is the New World Record

A massive Alaskan brown bear arrowed by Chris Cammack in the spring of 2018 has become the new world record by a scant 1/16 of an inch.

Massive Alaskan Brown Bear is the New World Record
Chris Cammack shows off his huge brown bear arrowed on the Alaskan Peninsula in May 2018. After a special panel scoring session in Colorado, the brown bear has been declared as the species new bowhunting world record by the Pope and Young Club. (Photo courtesy of the Pope and Young Club)

The Alaskan brown bear is among the biggest of the big, one of the largest — and most dangerous — big game animals to plod across the North American continent each year.

Just ask E. Donnall Thomas, Jr., the Lewistown, Mont. resident who penned the long running “The Adventuresome Bowman” column in Bowhunter magazine for many years.

A traditional bowhunter who has lived, hunted, and fly fished for many years all over the state of Alaska, Thomas wrote this about the species in his excellent book penned back in 2010, Have Bow, Will Travel.

Consider Thomas’ words concerning the Alaskan brown bear: "Which brings us to North America, where I think only one big game species (other than the seldom hunted polar bear) really qualifies as dangerous game. Sure, black bears, cougars and wild hogs are all potentially dangerous but none triggers screaming alarms in my brain, and I’ve hunted all three for decades armed with nothing but a bow. Ursus arctosis another matter. Whether classified as a coastal brown bear or an interior grizzly, these animals are large, aggressive, and unpredictable.”


With that serving as a backdrop, consider the magnitude of bowhunting news announced just a few days ago as the Pope and Young Club confirmed a new world record Alaskan brown bear by bow, a giant boar taken last spring.


The September 24, 2018 special scoring session — a P&Y Special Panel of Judges convened in Windsor, Colo. — confirmed a skull measurement of 29 4/16-inches for the Alaskan Peninsula brown bear taken in May 2018 by Chris Cammack.

The panel’s three measurers – a group which included Barry Smith, Lee Kline, and Ed Fanchin — confirmed the bear’s original entry score. After that 60-day score was confirmed, the Cammack brown bear was declared as a new P&Y Club world record bowkill for the species.

"It is still so surreal to me, the thought that I would have ever had the opportunity to hunt an Alaskan brown bear with my bow, let alone (be) honored enough to harvest the new P&Y World Record," said Cammack in a Pope and Young Club news release.

"Thank you to everyone that helped make this dream a reality,” he added. “Special thanks to my friend and guide Cole Kramer, and especially my wife, Felicia for supporting me and allowing me to chase my dreams. Usually, Felicia is right beside me with her bow in hand, but this trip she stayed home and took care of our baby girl, Davoni. Coming home to them is a true blessing. Getting to spend two weeks with my friends in the bush of Alaska was the greatest adventure of my life, harvesting a new World Record brown bear was a bonus."


The Cammack brown bear ascends to the Pope and Young Club’s throne by the slimmest of margins, only 1/16 of an inch. That allows it to barely overtake the P&Y Club’s previous world record, a 29 3/16-inch brown bear taken in 2004 at Lake Iliamna, Alaska by Jack Brittingham.

Entered into the Pope and Young Club’s 31st Recording Period (Jan. 1, 2017, to Dec. 31, 2018) the Cammack brown bear becomes king of a very small and exclusive bowhunting club. For P&Y, only 231 animals scoring 20 inches or greater were listed in the 2017 published Bowhunting Big Game Records of North America (8th Edition).

"Chris is a very excited and humble man," stated Fanchin, the Records Chair for P&Y, in the news release. "Chris's bear skull will be at the Pope and Young convention (next spring) and I recommend that everyone come see this fantastic bear in Omaha, Nebraska April 10th-13th, 2019.


“Congratulations to Chris and the Alaskan Department of Game and Fish for doing outstanding conservation work,” Fanchin also added.

The official P&Y score of Cammack’s huge brown bear should also bring entry into the Boone and Crockett Club’s record book since the bruin surpasses the B&C Club’s minimum score of 28 inches.

Incidentally, the current B&C world record for the Alaskan brown bear is a bruin from Kodiak Island taken by a 180-grain bullet fired from a 30.06 rifle wielded by Roy Lindsey back in 1952. That brown bear’s skull — taken on a scientific expedition by Lindsey, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee — measured 30 12/16 inches and is displayed by the Los Angeles County Museum.

All of which leads to the questions of what exactly is an Alaskan brown bear and how does it differ from a grizzly bear?

Technically, the two animals are classified as the same species, Ursos arctos. But because of geographical influences like a protein-rich dietary staple of salmon, coastal Alaskan brown bears are generally much larger — weighing up to 1,500-pounds in some instances — leading to the separation of the two bears in the record books.

According to the B&C Club in a description of bear boundaries in the 13th edition of Records of North American Big Game, “The big brown bears are found on Kodiak and Afognak Islands, the Alaskan Peninsula, and southeastward along the coast of Alaska. The smaller interior grizzly is found in the remaining parts of the continent.”

Originally defined as an imaginary line extending 75 miles inland from the coast of Alaska, the boundary line is now more precisely defined by B&C and P&Y. Bears taken south and west of that line are classified as Alaskan brown bears while bears taken to the north and east of that line are declared as grizzly bears.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Bowhunter TV Episode 9: Wild Turkey Explosion

2018 Bowhunter TV Episode 9: Wild Turkey Explosion

Curt Wells provides color commentary on some of the team's best turkey hunts, including this one with his grandson in Kansas.

Texas Hog and Whitetail Hunt

Texas Hog and Whitetail Hunt

Bowhunter TV Editor Derek Mleynek sets up for some hog and whitetail hunting at Canyon Ranch in Texas.

Elk Bulls Abound in Colorado

Elk Bulls Abound in Colorado

Bowhunter team member Rudy Bachraty gets his chance to take an elk with Cross Mountain Outfitters of Colorado.

High Country Colorado Turkey Hunt

High Country Colorado Turkey Hunt

Danny Farris and Doyle Worbington of J&D Outfitters are hunting turkeys in Colorado.

Trending Articles

This past fall my twin daughters started kindergarten, which meant that I stopped paying for Bows

9 Top Budget Bows for 2018

Tony J. Peterson - February 20, 2018

This past fall my twin daughters started kindergarten, which meant that I stopped paying for

New year, new look at your whitetail ground How-To

Summer Scouting from Scratch

Tony J. Peterson

New year, new look at your whitetail ground

Chasing predators is great for calming big-game nerves. Other Game

Tips for Bowhunting Predators

Joe Bell

Chasing predators is great for calming big-game nerves.

Advances in rangefinding devices have helped bowhunters immensely. Scouting Tools

Advancements in Rangefinder Technology Through the Years

Chuck Adams

Advances in rangefinding devices have helped bowhunters immensely.

See More Trending Articles

More Other Game

Producer Danny Farris joins stickbow mentor Fred Eichler on a memorable mountain lion hunt in his Other Game

Cat Hunt 2

Bowhunter TV - August 28, 2014

Producer Danny Farris joins stickbow mentor Fred Eichler on a memorable mountain lion hunt in...

Jeff Melillo downs new P&Y world record black bear in New Jersey. Industry

New Jersey Black Bear is New Pope and Young World Record

Lynn Burkhead - February 13, 2020

Jeff Melillo downs new P&Y world record black bear in New Jersey.

Bowhunting hogs in fall can prove a little bit more of a challenge than any other time of the year Other Game

Video: Bowhunting Hogs in Fall

Bowhunter TV - October 25, 2011

Bowhunting hogs in fall can prove a little bit more of a challenge than any other time of the...

Curt Wells and Brian Fortenbaugh head to the Barnes-Keith Ranch to spot and stalk and employ blinds. Other Game

Texas Two-Step-Hog Style

Bowhunter TV - August 28, 2014

Curt Wells and Brian Fortenbaugh head to the Barnes-Keith Ranch to spot and stalk and employ...

See More Other Game

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.