North America Big Game Species

ALASKA BROWN BEAR

(Ursus arctos middendorffi)


LOCATION: The range of the Alaska brown bear is restricted to a narrow strip of the Alaska coast, plus adjacent islands, within reach of spawning salmon runs. It is at home anywhere within this area, from saltwater beaches through swamps and forests to rocky mountainsides above the tree line. The most notable of the adjacent islands are Kodiak, Afognak, Montague, Baranof, Chicagof and Admiralty.

ANIMAL SUMMARY: An adult male usually weighs 800-1,000 pounds. Females are considerably smaller. With the possible exception of the polar bear, the Alaska brown bear is the largest land-dwelling carnivore in the world. It is considerably larger than its close relative the grizzly, or the brown bears of Europe and Asia. Its great size is the result of an abundant and protein-rich salmon diet and the relatively mild climate in which it lives. It has a prominent hump on its shoulders, a concave facial profile and short, stout legs ending in large paws. Its long, thick coat is usually brown in color, although individuals vary from blond to almost black.  


BEHAVIOR: Like the grizzly, the Alaska brown bear is unsociable and usually solitary except when mating or when forced by circumstances to share a salmon fishery with other bears. With no enemies other than humans, it is active at all hours. Breeding takes place during May and June. The female mates every second or third year, producing a litter of cubs (1-4, but usually two), which are born in the den in January or February. She is an excellent mother. The cubs remain with her at least two years, and often three or four. An Alaska brown bear is full grown at 10-11 years and has a life expectancy, barring accidents, of 25-30 years. Omnivorous, it eats grasses, sedges, roots, bulbs, berries, rodents, salmon and also carrion. Eyesight is only fair, but hearing and sense of smell are very acute. A brown bear’s usual pace is a slow walk, but they are capable of running fast. It is unable to jump, but is an excellent swimmer. Cubs can climb trees, but adults, with their long foreclaws and heavy bodies, cannot. The Alaska brown bear is normally silent, but can growl, grunt, roar, sniff and cough. It is highly alert, and is usually cautious and non-aggressive toward man, but there are exceptions. It retires to its den during the cold of winter and sleeps for months. A bear will often leave its den in late winter to briefly wander outside.Super Ten®/Super Slam®: Super Ten®/Super Slam®: The Super Ten®/Super Slam® boundaries follow the same criteria as SCI.


Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission. Visit www.scirecordbook.org.


BLACK BEAR

(Ursus americanus)


LOCATION: The black bear is found in most of Alaska and Canada (except the high arctic), with population numbers extremely high in prime habitat areas. It is also found in much of the western United States. Finally, the black bear is found throughout the Great Lakes region, New England, Appalachia and the Ozarks, with good population numbers even though the habitat is diminished in these areas. It is also found in Florida and Gulf Coast areas.

The American black bear has the largest population of any bear in the world. An adult male usually weighs 200-300 pounds, but occasionally much more. Where food is abundant, individuals have weighed 500 or even 600 pounds. Females average about 20-30 percent smaller than males. It is the smallest North American bear, and its name refers to the most common color phase, which is a uniform black with brown muzzle and often a splash of white on the chest. Other color phases, which usually occur in western parts of North America, vary through several shades of brown to a pale cinnamon. Several color phases can occur in the same geographic area or even in the same litter. Compared to a brown or grizzly bear, a black bear's back is straight instead of humped, and its nose is pointed. Its ears are large and erect, its claws are much shorter and more curved, and the hairs of its coat are shorter.  


BEHAVIOR: Like other bear species, the black bear is solitary except when mating, or when a sow is with her cubs. It is territorial, tending to avoid others even where territories overlap. It will congregate at a common food source, such as a garbage dump or berry patch, but even so will stay out of each other's way. The female usually gives birth in alternate years. Cubs stay with the mother 11/2 years, sometimes 2 1/2 years. Life expectancy is 25-30 years. The black bear is omnivorous, although more a vegetarian than a meat-eater, favoring grasses, sedges, bark, roots, buds, nuts, berries, honey, insects and rodents. It eats carrion when available, kills small mammals occasionally and sometimes kills domestic livestock. It dens during the winter in colder regions, but may not do so in warmer southern areas. It is an excellent tree climber, the only North American bear that, as an adult, can still climb trees. It is also a powerful swimmer. Senses of smell and hearing are very good, eyesight is adequate. It is intelligent, shy, secretive, yet inquisitive. Black bears are generally harmless to man except when wounded or protecting their young; however, attacks on humans, with some fatalities, occur with some regularity. Unlike the grizzly, the black bear is able to coexist with humans and is commonly found near large metropolitan areas. As grizzly bear range shrinks from expanding civilization, that of the black bear expands to occupy the vacated areas.  


Super Ten®/Super Slam®: For the Super Ten®/Super Slam®, only one black bear is recognized. The SCI Record Book and some of the other organizations recognize two or more of the black bear subspecies of North America. Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission.


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GRIZZLY BEAR

(Ursus arctos horribilis)


LOCATION: The grizzly bear is adaptable to a wide range of terrain and climate, including tundra, forests, mountains, and semi-deserts. In pioneer times, grizzly bears were common in most of western North America from Alaska to northern Mexico, and from the western coastal mountains eastward to the Great Plains. The largest remaining populations today are in Alaska and Canada.

ANIMAL SUMMARY: An adult male usually weighs 500-750 pounds. Females are much smaller. The grizzly is a powerfully built bear with long, thick hair that varies in color from dark brown to pale yellowish-brown. The body is massive and thick, with a prominent hump on the shoulders and a huge head supported by a short, muscular neck. The facial profile is concave. The front claws often exceed 3 inches in length, and are used primarily for digging and as weapons.  


BEHAVIOR: Except when mating, or in the case of a mother with cubs, grizzlies are solitary and unsociable. Males, especially, are great wanderers. The female breeds every 2-3 years, with 1-4 cubs, but generally two, born in the den. She is a good mother and keeps the cubs with her for two years, or often longer. Grizzlies are full-grown at 8-10 years, with a life expectancy of 25-30 years. Except for polar bears, grizzlies are the most carnivorous of bears. They kill animals as large as moose and elk, dig rodents from their burrows, and eat spawning fish and carrion. Nonetheless, the grizzly cannot obtain enough meat to sustain itself, and must rely on vegetable matter for much of its intake, eating grasses, sedges, roots, tubers, buds, berries and nuts. It dens in the late fall and sleeps until April. Senses of smell and hearing are excellent; eyesight is not as good, but a grizzly is able to make out moving objects at a considerable distance. Surprisingly agile, it can run 30 mph on the flat, and can gallop for miles over steep mountain slopes. Cubs can climb trees, but mature bears cannot because their claws are too long and their bodies too heavy. The grizzly can survive only in wilderness, because it coexists poorly with man. It is considered dangerous to humans, and has a history of feeding on livestock.  


Super Ten®/Super Slam®: For the Super Ten®/Super Slam®, only one grizzly bear is recognized. Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission.


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POLAR BEAR

(Ursus maritimus)


LOCATION: Polar bears are found on the shores, islands and pack ice of the Arctic Ocean. Mature males often spend years out on the ice, while the pregnant females come ashore to den. They are circumpolar in the northern hemisphere, occurring in Eurasia as well as North America. There are permanent populations in James Bay and the southern part of Hudson Bay. The polar bear still occupies most of its historic range.

ANIMAL SUMMARY: An adult male usually weighs 800-1,000 pounds. Females are about 25 percent smaller. Whether the polar bear or the Alaska brown bear is the world's largest land-based carnivore is a matter of conjecture, because few wild specimens of either have been weighed. The polar bear has a streamlined body that has adapted to an aquatic way of life. It has a longer neck than other bears, a relatively small head, long and massive legs, and large feet with hairy soles. The coat is a yellowish-white, which acts to conserve body heat and serves as camouflage in its snowy habitat. Eyes, nose, lips and toenails are almost always black.  


BEHAVIOR: The polar bear is solitary except when mating or sharing a large carcass such as a stranded whale. Mating season is from March until June, with implantation apparently delayed several months so the cubs are born in November to January, while the mother is in her winter den. The female gives birth every 2-4 years, with a litter numbering 1-4, but averaging two. Cubs remain with the mother 2 to 2 1/2 years. Females are fully grown at five years, males at 10-11 years. Longevity in the wild is estimated at 25-30 years. The most carnivorous of all bears, it feeds primarily on ringed seals, with bearded seals the second choice, followed by harp seals and hooded seals. It also scavenges carcasses of walrus, whales and narwhals. It will kill other polar bears and, at times, young walrus. It eats crustaceans, fish, small animals, birds, eggs and vegetation when other food is unavailable. A great traveler, it roams the pack ice and surrounding seas in search of seals. Polar bears have been observed swimming as much as 40 miles from the nearest ice or land. It sometimes swims with all four feet, but more often uses only the forefeet, with the hind feet trailing behind. It swims high in the water, with its head and shoulders exposed, and can attain a speed of 4 mph. If killed in the water, it does not sink immediately. Pregnant females den for the winter like other bear species (on shore, often in a hole on a steep mountain slope), but males and non-pregnant females remain active all winter. Its sense of smell is excellent and eyesight is adequate. Its hearing is good, but the polar bear is not alarmed by most sounds because of its noisy environment in the continually grinding ice pack.  

Super Ten®/Super Slam®: Grand Slam Club/Ovis, parent organization for the Super Ten®/Super Slam®, supports the work of Conservation Force and SCI. Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission.


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COUGAR (Mountain Lion)

(Puma concolor)


LOCATION: The cougar has the most extensive natural distribution of any wild mammal in the western hemisphere. Cougars are found only in the western hemisphere. At one time their North American distribution extended from coast to coast and from northern British Columbia to Panama. Today, they occur in the southern half of British Columbia, southwestern Alberta, the western United States from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, and throughout Mexico and Central America. There also are local populations.

ANIMAL SUMMARY: The cougar has many common names. It is called puma in Latin America and in most of the world outside the United States and Canada. It is also sometimes called panther, American lion or catamount in parts of the U.S. Of course, the most common names for this amazing cat are cougar and mountain lion. Adult North American cougars are 6-8 feet in length, including 28-36 inches of tail. Weight is 100-150 pounds, and occasionally much more. Females are about 40 percent smaller than males. The cougar is the second-largest cat in the western hemisphere. It is roughly the same length and height as the North American jaguar, but slimmer and more lightly built, with long legs, a comparatively long neck and a head that is remarkably small for such a large cat. The coat is thick and soft. The tail is long and cylindrical, and covered with thick fur that becomes thicker at the dark tip. There are two color phases, which may vary seasonally. One ranges from buff to reddish-brown, the other is a dull shade of gray. The flanks are paler than the back, merging into white underparts.  


BEHAVIOR: Cougars are solitary, seeking company only during the brief courtship period. Males are territorial, actively maintaining and marking their home ranges, which are typically 25-35 square miles. There is no fixed breeding season, but most births take place in late winter or early spring. Females usually give birth to 3-4 kittens (range is 1-6) every other year. The kittens are spotted until about six months of age. They remain with the mother for 1 1/2 to 2 years, and are sexually mature at 2 1/2 to 3 years. Life expectancy is about 12 years. Cougars are entirely carnivorous. The cougar's usual diet is deer, but it also kills elk, pronghorn antelope, mountain sheep and (during times of scarcity) smaller animals such as rabbits, porcupines and rodents. It sometimes kills domestic animals, particularly sheep, which has made it unpopular with ranchers and caused it to be treated as vermin until fairly recently. The cougar can purr, and may hiss and snarl when cornered. However, normally it is silent. Eyesight is excellent, and hearing and sense of smell are good. The cougar is largely nocturnal and is shy, alert and elusive. It is not aggressive toward humans, but attacks do occur, especially in areas where cougars have been allowed to overpopulate. It generally avoids water, although it swims well. Superbly athletic, cougars have been known to leap 27 feet horizontally, 18 feet vertically, and 60 feet downward without harming themselves.    


Super Ten®/Super Slam®: For the Super Ten®/Super Slam® only North American cougars are allowed. Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission.


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COLUMBIA BLACKTAIL DEER

(Odocoileus hemionus columbianus)


LOCATION: These deer are found in the Pacific Coast region of North America from Bella Bella and Bella Coola, British Columbia, in the north to Ragged Point, Monterey County, California, in the south.

ANIMAL SUMMARY:  Mature Columbia blacktail deer bucks vary in body weight depending on habitat (and, to a lesser extent, genetics). Generally the weights are from about 150 to 200 pounds, but sometimes even larger. Females (does) are much smaller. A blacktail deer can be distinguished from a mule deer by its tail, metatarsal glands, overall coloration, face and antlers. A blacktail's tail is nearly as long as a mule deer's but is much wider, which makes it larger in comparison to the body. It is solid black on top except for a slight white fringe near the bottom, and the underside is white. (By comparison, a mule deer tail is narrow at the middle, tapering wider at top and bottom, and normally is white with a black tip, though sometimes the upper part will be brown.) The underside tail hairs are not erectile, and the tail is not used for signaling. The summer coat is similar to that of a mule deer, but the winter coat is redder, or a cedar brown. The blacktail's face is noticeably shorter and darker than a mule deer's, and the ears are smaller. The antlers are small, compact and relatively stout for their length, as befits a deer living in thick forest. Blacktails from drier, more open California habitat tend to have longer, wider antlers. Columbia blacktails often have only four points per side (including brow tines), like their Sitka blacktail cousins. However, they have five per side more often than the Sitka, but less often than the mule deer. In other words, it is not uncommon for a Columbia blacktail to have five typical points per side. It is uncommon for a Sitka blacktail to have five per side, and uncommon for a mule deer to have less than five per side, or at least four upper points per side.  


BEHAVIOR: A Columbia blacktail’s habits are similar to those of a mule deer. Blacktails living in low-lying forests without much snow will remain in one small area year-round. In mountain areas, they migrate the same as mule deer, spending summers in the high meadows and winters in sheltered valleys. Blacktails sometimes mingle with mule deer in summer range, but in fall will descend the western slopes while the mule deer descend the eastern slopes. Blacktails are browsers that eat very little grass. Sense of smell is paramount, although hearing is excellent and vision is good. When disturbed, blacktails tend to lie low or sneak away quietly instead of bounding off like a mule deer. Their main predator is the coyote, with the cougar next.


Super Ten®/Super Slam®: The SCI Record Book has established precise boundaries for the Columbia blacktail deer, and the Super Ten®/Super Slam® adhere to those boundaries… EXCEPT that Vancouver Island deer are considered as Sitka blacktails at present for the Super Ten®/Super Slam®. Columbia blacktails can be found in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California. Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission.


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COUES DEER

(Odocoileus virginianus couesi)


LOCATION: Coues whitetails are found in desert regions, especially hills and mountains between 4,000-8,000 feet elevation, usually with scrub oak and high grassy basins. This subspecies is isolated from other whitetails, but occasionally comes into contact with other whitetails in Arizona and Mexico. Coues whitetails are found in central and southern Arizona and the southwestern corner of New Mexico, and most all of Sonora, Mexico.

The map above is used by permission from the on-line Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals.


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Super Ten®/Super Slam®: Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission.


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MULE DEER

(Odocoileus hemionus hemionus)


LOCATION: They are adaptable to a wide range of western habitat from prairie to alpine to semi-desert to desert, with a preference for open or semi-open country. Mule deer are found in most of western Canada, the western U.S. and into a large area of the desert regions of Mexico, including Baja.

ANIMAL SUMMARY: Mature mule deer bucks (3 1/2 years old and older) vary in body weight dramatically, depending on their habitat (and, to a lesser extent, genetics). Generally these bucks can range from about 150 pounds up to well over 300 pounds. Females (does) are much smaller. Mule deer are rather heavily built, with a thickset body and legs. The ears are long and wide, resembling those of a mule. The antlers of a mature buck are large and widespread. The summer coat is thin and varies in color from tan to rusty-red. The rump, belly and inside of the legs are white. The face and throat are whitish, with a black patch on the forehead and a black bar around the chin. The tail is white with a black tip, and sometimes the base of the tail is brown. The underside tail hairs are not erectile and the tail is not used for signaling. The thick winter coat is brownish-gray.  


BEHAVIOR: Mule deer live in small family groups of does, yearlings and fawns. Bucks are usually solitary, or sometimes in very small bachelor groups. A group is likely to be spread out rather than in close association. The rut begins in October and lasts two months. Dominance fights between males are less competitive than in other deer species, being largely bluff. Fawns (usually two, sometimes three) are born May-June. Life expectancy is usually 8-12 years in the wild. This deer feeds mainly in early morning and evening, usually resting at midday and night. It is primarily a browser, but will graze on occasion. Mule deer are migratory in mountainous areas, summering as high as 8,000 feet, and retreating to lower elevations in winter to avoid deep snows. Migration distances may be 50 miles or more. Senses of smell and hearing are acute, with vision less so. They are able to run 35 mph for short distances, but unable to maintain speed for long. They bound away in a series of high leaps when disturbed and can cover 25 feet horizontally in a single leap. The mule deer is a very strong swimmer. Its main predators are coyotes, but also cougars.    


Super Ten®/Super Slam®: Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission.


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SITKA BLACKTAIL DEER

(Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis)


LOCATION: Sitka blacktail deer are native to the coastal region of southeastern Alaska and northwestern British Columbia, from the Haines-Skagway area south to Bella Bella and Bella Coola, and also on the offshore islands, including the Queen Charlotte Islands, where it was introduced. In Alaska, has been introduced in the Yakutat area, on islands in Prince William Sound, and on Afognak and Kodiak islands in the Gulf of Alaska, all of which are similar to its native habitat.

ANIMAL SUMMARY: Sitka blacktail deer vary very little in size from their Columbia blacktail cousins. A mature buck will generally weigh on average 150 pounds. The Sitka variety usually has two white throat or neck patches, and their antlers are generally smaller. The brow tines are sometimes missing, and they usually have a total of four points per side (including brow tines) more often than the more normal five per side for the Columbia blacktail.


BEHAVIOR:  Mule deer live in small family groups of does, yearlings and fawns. Bucks are usually solitary, or sometimes in very small bachelor groups. A group is likely to be spread out rather than in close association. The rut begins in October and lasts two months. Dominance fights between males are less competitive than in other deer species, being largely bluff. Fawns (usually two, sometimes three) are born May-June. Life expectancy is usually 8-12 years in the wild. This deer feeds mainly in early morning and evening, usually resting at midday and night. It is primarily a browser, but will graze on occasion. Mule deer are migratory in mountainous areas, summering as high as 8,000 feet, and retreating to lower elevations in winter to avoid deep snows. Migration distances may be 50 miles or more. Senses of smell and hearing are acute, with vision less so. They are able to run 35 mph for short distances, but unable to maintain speed for long. They bound away in a series of high leaps when disturbed and can cover 25 feet horizontally in a single leap. The mule deer is a very strong swimmer. Its main predators are coyotes, but also cougars.  


Super Ten®/Super Slam®: For the Super Ten®/Super Slam®, the blacktails of Vancouver Island are considered as Sitka blacktail deer. Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission.


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WHITETAIL DEER

(Odocoileus virginianus)


LOCATION: Whitetails are found in most Canadian provinces; all but a handful of the lower 48 United States; most of Mexico except for Baja California; and all of Central America. Whitetails are also native to the northern part of South America.

ANIMAL SUMMARY: Mature whitetail bucks (3 1/2 years old and older) vary in size and weight dramatically. A southeastern mature buck might weigh as little as 125 pounds, while a northern whitetail buck can weigh well over 300 pounds. Females (does) are much smaller. The graceful, elegant whitetail is a medium-sized deer with a long and slender neck, narrow face, fairly large ears and long, slim legs. The summer coat of short, sleek, solid hairs is reddish-brown in color. This changes in late fall to the gray or grayish-brown winter coat that consists of a woolly undercoat covered by hollow, brittle guard hairs. Whitetails usually have white rings around the eyes, a white stripe around the nose and chin, and a white throat patch. The underparts, inside of legs and rump are white. The large, bushy tail, which is brown on top with white edges, and all white beneath, has erectile hairs that flare out when the tail is raised as an alarm signal. The whitetail deer usually has low, compact antlers, befitting its life in dense undergrowth. In typical antlers, the main beams rise from the back of the head, growing backward and outward at first, then curving forward, with the tips turning inward over the face. A series of short, unbranched tines grows upward from the main beams. In addition, a single brow tine (“eye guard”) commonly occurs on each antler, but is not always present. The usual mature rack will have one brow tine plus two to four other tines per antler, which, when added to the beam tip, makes a total of 4 to 6 points on a side. (Four points per side equals an 8-point buck, six points per side a 12-pointer, eastern count.) It is possible to have more than six typical points to a side, but such racks are rare. Many whitetail antlers have non-typical tines as well as typical tines. Non-typical tines are those that grow from the side or bottom of the main beam, or from another tine, or from the burr, or that grow in an abnormal or non-typical manner. Females, except for an occasional freak, do not have antlers.


BEHAVIOR: Whitetails mate in the fall, usually during November, but breeding can occur from October to March, depending on locality. Fawns are born six months later, most often twins, but the range is 1-4. Life expectancy in the wild is 8 to 12 years if unhunted. Whitetails are normally active during early morning and evening, and again at midday if not harassed. They become nocturnal under high hunting pressure. This deer is mainly a browser and its home range is rather small. It uses the same trails and bedding and feeding areas for years if unmolested. Adaptable and tolerant of man, the whitetail is able to thrive in close proximity to human settlement. Hearing and eyesight are good, and sense of smell is excellent. Wary and alert, a whitetail can run 35 mph for a short distance or 25 mph for several miles. Horizontal leaps of 30 feet and vertical leaps of 8 1/2 feet have been recorded. The whitetail is an excellent swimmer. Whitetails are also native to the northern part of South America, but not counted from there for the Super Ten®/Super Slam®.

Super Ten®/Super Slam®: Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission.


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ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK

(Cervus elaphus nelsoni)


LOCATION: The Rocky Mountain elk is smaller in body than the Roosevelt elk. Mature bulls average about 700 pounds, while mature cows average around 500 pounds. The antlers of the Rocky variety are generally longer and slimmer than the Roosevelt, but have a greater spread. Rockies do not “crown,” while Roosevelts usually do “crown” after the fourth tine.

ANIMAL SUMMARY: The elk or wapiti (Cervus canadensis) is one of the largest species of deer in the world and one of the largest land mammals in North America and eastern Asia. In the deer family (Cervidae), only the larger moose (Alces alces), which is called an "elk" in Europe, and the sambar (Rusa unicolor) rival the elk in size. Elk are similar to the Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) found in Europe, of which they were long believed to be a subspecies. However, evidence from a 2004 study of the mitochondrial DNA indicates they are a distinct species.


BEHAVIOR:  The more traditional habitat for Rocky Mountain elk is high mountain meadows and forests. However, they occasionally do well at lower elevations. They migrate downward in advance of deep winter snows to sheltered lowlands where forage is available  


Super Ten®/Super Slam®: Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission.


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ROOSEVELT ELK

(Cervus elaphus roosevelti)


LOCATION: In Canada they are found on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and the adjacent mainland. In the United States they are located in coastal Washington and Oregon, west of Interstate 5, and northwestern California, essentially in Del Norte and Humboldt counties. They have been introduced (1927) on Afognak and Raspberry Islands in the Gulf of Alaska. There is also a free-ranging herd on Santa Rosa Island off California's southern coast, which was introduced about 1910 from Washington's Olympic Pen.

ANIMAL SUMMARY:  This subspecies is the largest North American elk, with bulls weighing 700-1,100 pounds and cows 500 to more than 600 pounds. Compared with those of the Rocky Mountain elk, the antlers are much more rugged and massive, although generally shorter and with less spread. The fourth (royal) tine can be forked, and the ends of the antlers, which are often webbed or palmate, tend to form a crown or cup of three or more points. The body coloration has more contrast, with the back and sides turning pale fawn in winter, the head, legs and underparts a dark brown, and the neck almost black. They are usually found in dense evergreen rain forests, including mountain forests.


Super Ten®/Super Slam®: Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission.


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TULE ELK

(Cervus elaphus nannodes)


LOCATION: They are found in open and semi-desert country, and only in California. They originally occurred in great numbers in the broad, open valleys of the coastal and central parts of the state, where tules were the characteristic native plants. They are now located in several small herds within the original range, and in transplanted populations outside its original range.

ANIMAL SUMMARY: This subspecies is the smallest American elk. It is lighter in color, with small antlers that have arched beams and tines and tend to be palmate in larger specimens. Adult bulls average 550 pounds and cows around 400 pounds.


Super Ten®/Super Slam®: Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission.


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BARREN GROUND CARIBOU

(Rangifer tarandus granti)


LOCATION: They live on the tundra and adjacent forest. The distribution for the barren ground caribou is as follows. Alaska: Most of the state. Yukon: North of the Stewart River and, from the junction of the Stewart and Yukon rivers, north of the Yukon River. Northwest Territories (NWT): North of latitude 66°N and west of the Mackenzie River.

ANIMAL SUMMARY: This caribou is found in Alaska and the northern Yukon and is large and dark-colored. Those from the Alaska Peninsula are somewhat smaller and lighter in color, with the antler beams widely spread and curving sharply forward. Late season bulls have startlingly white necks and manes. Mature bulls weigh 400-500 pounds, with those from the Alaska Peninsula being somewhat smaller.


BEHAVIOR: Barren ground caribou are migratory, with historical migration routes that often cover hundreds of miles. Biologists have separated various populations into so-called herds based on these migration routes. A herd may contain more than 100,000 animals that will cover hundreds, even thousands, of square miles at any given time. Named herds include the Adak, Alaska Peninsula, Beaver, Chisana, Delta, Fortymile, Kenai, Mentasta, Mt. McKinley, Mulchatna, Nelchina, Porcupine, and Western Arctic. During the summer months, caribou will be scattered and fairly resident in a given region. As autumn approaches, they band together into increasingly larger groups and begin their migration to winter pastures. They are on the move constantly during migration, feeding as they go and generally heading into the prevailing wind. Wolf packs are a part of the migration, following the herds and living off them.    


Super Ten®/Super Slam®: Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission.


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CENTRAL CANADIAN BARREN GROUND CARIBOU

(Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus)


LOCATION: These caribou live on the tundra, and are found on the arctic islands and mainland NWT and Nunavut. They can also be found in extreme northeastern Alberta, northern Saskatchewan and northern Manitoba.

ANIMAL SUMMARY: These caribou can vary in size dramatically, based on where they are found. SCI categorizes the Arctic Island caribou separately, but for the Super Ten®/Super Slam® those are classified here as CCBGC. The caribou found south and east in the Northwest Territories (NWT) and Nunavut are within this same CCBGC classification. They could be considered medium-sized, but with mature bulls ranging all the way from 250 to 450 pounds. Antlers for the CCBGC usually score about the same as the Quebec Labrador caribou. However, they score about 10 to 15 percent less than their western barren ground and mountain caribou cousins.


Super Ten®/Super Slam®: SCI categorizes the Arctic Island caribou separately, but for the Super Ten®/Super Slam® those are classified here as CCBGC.


Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission.


Visit www.scirecordbook.org.



MOUNTAIN CARIBOU

(Rangifer tarandus caribou)


LOCATION: Named herds include the Selkirk, Spatsizi, and Wells Gray. They are found in the Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories (NWT), British Columbia and Alberta. In the United States, the endangered Selkirk Herd extends marginally into northeastern Washington and northern Idaho.

ANIMAL SUMMARY: The mountain caribou is one of three regional caribou categories established for record-keeping by dividing the subspecies caribou into geographic groups based on antler size and shape. These categories were established by the Boone & Crockett Club and have come to be accepted by hunters everywhere. (The other two regional categories are Quebec Labrador caribou and woodland caribou. All three are classified as woodland caribou [R. t. caribou] by scientists.) This is the largest-bodied caribou. Bulls weigh as much as 600 pounds. The color is a fairly dark chocolate-brown, with a lighter-colored throat mane that turns almost white in late season. Mountain caribou grow the heaviest antlers of the species, but tend not to have very wide spreads.  


BEHAVIOR: Mountain caribou herds are not nearly as large as those of barren ground caribou, nor are their seasonal migrations as long, often being mainly changes in elevation. Mountain caribou go high in the mountains during the summer to avoid biting insects, then, as the season progresses, bunch up and move into lower valleys where there is less snow and more feed.  


Super Ten®/Super Slam®: Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission.


Visit www.scirecordbook.org.



QUEBEC LABRADOR CARIBOU

(Rangifer tarandus caribou)


LOCATION: They are highly migratory, with regional herds following historical migration routes. They live on the tundra and can be found in Quebec and Labrador. At present, populations are very low compared to the past few decades. Tag numbers have been decreased, and scientists hope a rebound will begin soon.

ANIMAL SUMMARY: The Quebec Labrador caribou is one of three regional caribou categories established for record-keeping by dividing the subspecies caribou into geographic groups based on antler size and shape. These categories were established by the Boone & Crockett Club and have come to be accepted by hunters everywhere. (The other two regional categories are mountain caribou and woodland caribou. All three are classified as woodland caribou [R. t. caribou] by scientists.) This is a medium-sized caribou, with mature bulls averaging 350-450 pounds. Antlers are frequently spectacular: although not particularly heavy, they usually have very wide spreads and long, forward-curving beams. Brow and bez tines are usually well palmated, and there is a high proportion of double shovels. Overall color is pale brown, with contrasting white neck and mane; a very handsome animal.


Super Ten®/Super Slam®: Information found here contains excerpts from the on-line and printed version of Safari Club International (SCI) Record Book of Trophy Animals and is used by permission.


Visit www.scirecordbook.org.


Quebec Labrador Caribou are currently not hunted due to closer after the 2017 season



WOODLAND CARIBOU

(Rangifer tarandus caribou)