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Big bear in Montana


Well-known member
Jul 7, 2001

Front grizzly mauls size record
Biologists catch, release largest bear ever recorded in lower 48 states
Tribune Staff Writer

Wildlife officials in the Rocky Mountain Front recently snared a male grizzly they believe may be the largest ever captured south of the Canadian border.
The 11Þ-year-old grizzly bottomed out the 800-pound scales used by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, said Mike Madel, a grizzly bear management specialist with the FWP.

Biologists estimate in its post-hibernation slim state, the bear weighs about 850 pounds.

From the tip of its nose to the end of its tail the grizzly measured 94 inches, and its front paw pad measured more than seven inches in diameter -- about the size of a medium saucepan.

Bears lose about 20 percent of their body weight during hibernation, so in its prime the bear likely weighs about 1,000 pounds, Madel said.

Standing up, the bear, which is a golden color with dark, chocolate colored legs, would be about nine feet tall.

"He was certainly about the most magnificent bear I've seen," Madel said. "This guy, all his measurements were by far larger than most."

The bear also isn't likely done growing, Madel said. Adult males grow throughout their lives.

Madel and another biologist captured the bruin, Bear No. 175, in the Blackleaf Canyon area. Biologists were trying to snare a female grizzly to replace its radio collar, when the big male, who was tailing the female, was snared.

Biologists measured the grizzly, put a radio collar on it and let it loose. It continues to spend time along the Front west of Dupuyer.

The griz has not caused any trouble and hangs out in remote areas, Madel said.

The grizzly was captured about eight years ago along the Teton River when biologists were again trailing other bears which had been hanging around a ranch house. At 3Þ-years-old, the griz weighed in at 400 pounds.

A 21-year-old grizzly bear killed in 1991, weighing 620 pounds with claws 4/ inches long, was believed to be one of the largest ever recorded along the eastern slopes of the Rockies.

The "Falls Creek" male, a legendary bear that eluded bear biologists for more than 15 years, also was one of the oldest and largest in the Rocky Mountain Front. It weighed about 650-pounds and was captured and euthanized in April 2001.

"He (Bear No. 175) put the 'Falls Creek' male to size," Madel said. "This bear is really enormous."

Biologists also are noting a large number of grizzlies out and about along the Front. On Wednesday, Madel was able to observe 15 grizzlies from the air.

"This has been the highest spring observation period I have had in 20 years," Madel said.

The population hasn't necessarily boomed, but bears have been spending time on lower ground. It also is the middle of the bear breeding season.

At least three female bears have three yearlings apiece.

"We are showing very good reproduction in the Rocky Mountain Front grizzly bear population," Madel said.

But even with more grizzlies out, the bears haven't been causing many problems, Madel said. Bears emerged early this year, and in April there were some conflicts in cattle country, Madel said. Bears killed at least two calves.

A female bear also got into a beekeeper's property, but electric fence has since been installed.

I could not find a picture on the website, but here is a scan from the newspaper. Not great quality, but best I can do. Small world, I went to high school with the guy in the picture.

Friday My wife came HOME and Asked if I heard about the Bear in Montana that was 2000#'s and had 17" PADS

I'm guessing this 850# 7"dia was what she was talking about ?!?!?!
She said a guy got an Email about it and was telling everybody !!!!
The feed for this guy must be really good, for him to be 200 lbs bigger than that biggest recorded..
or maybe it is the new gene pool being brought in from the north, what ever it is, that is a big bear..
Thanks for sharing and posting the pic!!!
GOHUNT Insider

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