FAIRBANKS , Alaska, May 7 (UPI) -- The nearly nine-foot bear that an Alaska hunter bagged outside of Fairbanks has officially been recognized as the largest hunter-taken grizzly on record.
Larry Fitzgerald was out hunting for moose when he spotted the gigantic beast. After tracking it for three hours, Fitzgerald was able to kill the bear with just one shot to the neck from 20 yards away.
"We knew it was big," he told Fox News. "It was a rush."
The 35-year-old killed the bear in September, but its record-breaking size was just verified by the Boone and Crockett Club, an organization that keeps track of such things.
“I'm not really a trophy hunter, or anything," Fitzgerald said. "But I guess it is kind of cool."
The grizzly’s skull measured 27 and 6/16 inches, an especially surprising size considering it was taken down near a city.
"One would think that a relatively accessible area, with liberal bear-hunting regulations to keep populations in line with available habitat and food, would be the last place to find one of the largest grizzly bears on record," said Boone and Crockett Club's Records of North American Big Game committee chairman Richard Hale.