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.


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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)


LOCATION: This trophy type is found only in Canada. It occurs sparingly in central Saskatchewan and Manitoba. There is a major herd in northern and central Ontario (the Ontario Herd), plus a few on islands in Lake Nipigon and on the Slate Islands in northern Lake Superior. They are also found on the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec, and in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. There is a major herd (the Interior Herd) on Newfoundland Island, plus the much smaller Avalon Peninsula Herd. 

ANIMAL SUMMARY: The woodland 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 Quebec Labrador caribou. All three are classified as woodland caribou [R. t. caribou] by scientists.) This is a medium-sized caribou, with mature bulls weighing 350-450 pounds. It has the smallest antlers of any caribou other than those from the arctic islands. Antlers tend to be divergent, with many tines but without much length. Coloration is generally darker than the Quebec Labradors, although the neck and mane are white.  


BEHAVIOR: They remain fairly resident within a given area, but may migrate from summer to winter pastures. Herds tend to be small. They are at home in the tundra, as well as some forested areas.    


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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ALASKA YUKON MOOSE

(Alces alces gigas)


LOCATION: Moose prefer evergreen wooded areas with hills, swamps and openings bordering lakes and rivers, generally with a seasonal snow cover. In summer, they are often found high in the mountains (even above tree line) to escape biting insects. They migrate in the fall to lower elevations.

ANIMAL SUMMARY: The largest of all North American moose, the largest bulls stand 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 feet at the top of the hump and have been estimated to weigh as much as 1,800 pounds. The overall coloration is blackish, with a rusty brown saddle area. Moose from Alaska, Yukon, and the Mackenzie Mountains in the far west of the Northwest Territories are included for this trophy category. The moose is North America’s largest deer and grows the largest antlers. It is a huge, awkward-looking animal with a large hump on its shoulders, very long legs and massive, palmate antlers. The antlers grow out from the sides of the head, with the main beam dividing into two principal branches. The smaller branch grows forward and outward and is usually palmate (the brow palm), with points growing from the palm’s forward edge. The larger branch extends backward and upward and becomes a large, flattened palm (the main palm), with points growing from the top and outer edges.  


BEHAVIOR: Moose are solitary except when mating, or a cow with her recent offspring, living by itself in a small home range. They mate in September and October, with bulls displaying and fighting for dominance and taking one female at a time. Bulls can be dangerous during the rut, and unarmed humans may be at risk. Calves are born in May and June, frequently twins, though often a single and occasionally triplets. They are a browser, depending on woody vegetation – notably willow, poplar, balsam, aspen and birch – eating the leaves, twigs and bark. The moose feeds on aquatic vegetation by wading into lakes and streams, often submerging completely to feed on the bottom. Vision is poor, with stationary objects seemingly not recognized at all. Senses of smell and hearing are excellent. They are active throughout the day, but with peaks at dawn and dusk. Despite its ungainly appearance, the moose is nimble and surefooted. It is able to cross swamps and quicksand where other animals would mire. Its normal gait is a quiet, careful walk, but it can maintain a speed of 35 mph for a considerable distance. They have great endurance, and are able to run up mountainsides or through deep snow or downed timber for miles. They are excellent swimmers. They are silent except during the rut, when the sexes call to each other with grunts and moans. Their principal predator is the wolf, with the grizzly in a lesser role. As a number of wolves are required to bring down a moose, healthy adults are seldom attacked; calves and sick or aged adults are the preferred prey.    


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.



CANADA MOOSE

(Alces alces andersoni)


LOCATION: Moose prefer evergreen wooded areas with hills, swamps and openings bordering lakes and rivers, generally with a seasonal snow cover. In summer, they are often found high in the mountains (even above tree line) to escape biting insects. They migrate in the fall to lower elevations.

ANIMAL SUMMARY: In North America, these moose are exceeded in size only by the Alaska Yukon subspecies. Large bulls will measure 6-7 feet at the top of the hump, and have been said to weigh as much as 1,500 pounds. The antlers are smaller and less massive than those of the Alaska-Yukon race. The general color is a rusty brown. But can be almost black as well. The moose is North America’s largest deer and grows the largest antlers. It is a huge, awkward-looking animal with a large hump on its shoulders, very long legs and massive, palmate antlers. The antlers grow out from the sides of the head, with the main beam dividing into two principal branches. The smaller branch grows forward and outward and is usually palmate (the brow palm), with points growing from the palm’s forward edge. The larger branch extends backward and upward and becomes a large, flattened palm (the main palm), with points growing from the top and outer edges.


BEHAVIOR: Moose are solitary except when mating, or a cow with her recent offspring, living by itself in a small home range. They mate in September and October, with bulls displaying and fighting for dominance and taking one female at a time. Bulls can be dangerous during the rut, and unarmed humans may be at risk. Calves are born in May and June, frequently twins, though often a single and occasionally triplets. They are a browser, depending on woody vegetation – notably willow, poplar, balsam, aspen and birch – eating the leaves, twigs and bark. The moose feeds on aquatic vegetation by wading into lakes and streams, often submerging completely to feed on the bottom. Vision is poor, with stationary objects seemingly not recognized at all. Senses of smell and hearing are excellent. They are active throughout the day, but with peaks at dawn and dusk. Despite its ungainly appearance, the moose is nimble and surefooted. It is able to cross swamps and quicksand where other animals would mire. Its normal gait is a quiet, careful walk, but it can maintain a speed of 35 mph for a considerable distance. They have great endurance, and are able to run up mountainsides or through deep snow or downed timber for miles. They are excellent swimmers. They are silent except during the rut, when the sexes call to each other with grunts and moans. Their principal predator is the wolf, with the grizzly in a lesser role. As a number of wolves are required to bring down a moose, healthy adults are seldom attacked; calves and sick or aged adults are the preferred prey.    


Super Ten®/Super Slam®: For the Super Ten®/Super Slam®, we consider all the moose of Canada within this category except those classified as Shiras or Alaska Yukon (see those categories for further explanation). We also classify the moose of the northeastern U.S. for this category. (SCI has both a western Canada and an eastern Canada moose category, but those two are combined for our purposes.) 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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SHIRAS MOOSE

(Alces alces shiras)


LOCATION: The Shiras moose is found in southwestern British Columbia, Canada, commencing at the International Boundary at Sumas Highway 11 to Trans-Canada Highway #1, following southeastern along the Trans-Canada Highway #1; and southwestern Alberta south of the Trans-Canada Highway #1 and west of Highway #2 to the International Boundary. In the United States they are found in northeastern Washington, northern and eastern Idaho, western Montana, western and southern Wyoming, northeastern Utah, and northwest Colorado

ANIMAL SUMMARY: The Shiras moose has the smallest body and antlers of any North American moose. The body color is a rusty yellowish-brown, with a pale brownish saddle. The moose is North America’s largest deer and grows the largest antlers. It is a huge, awkward-looking animal with a large hump on its shoulders, very long legs and massive, palmate antlers. The antlers grow out from the sides of the head, with the main beam dividing into two principal branches. The smaller branch grows forward and outward and is usually palmate (the brow palm), with points growing from the palm’s forward edge. The larger branch extends backward and upward and becomes a large, flattened palm (the main palm), with points growing from the top and outer edges.


BEHAVIOR: Moose are solitary except when mating, or a cow with her recent offspring, living by itself in a small home range. They mate in September and October, with bulls displaying and fighting for dominance and taking one female at a time. Bulls can be dangerous during the rut, and unarmed humans may be at risk. Calves are born in May and June, frequently twins, though often a single and occasionally triplets. They are a browser, depending on woody vegetation – notably willow, poplar, balsam, aspen and birch – eating the leaves, twigs and bark. The moose feeds on aquatic vegetation by wading into lakes and streams, often submerging completely to feed on the bottom. Vision is poor, with stationary objects seemingly not recognized at all. Senses of smell and hearing are excellent. They are active throughout the day, but with peaks at dawn and dusk. Despite its ungainly appearance, the moose is nimble and surefooted. It is able to cross swamps and quicksand where other animals would mire. Its normal gait is a quiet, careful walk, but it can maintain a speed of 35 mph for a considerable distance. They have great endurance, and are able to run up mountainsides or through deep snow or downed timber for miles. They are excellent swimmers. They are silent except during the rut, when the sexes call to each other with grunts and moans. Their principal predator is the wolf, with the grizzly in a lesser role. As a number of wolves are required to bring down a moose, healthy adults are seldom attacked; calves and sick or aged adults are the preferred prey. Moose prefer evergreen wooded areas with hills, swamps and openings bordering lakes and rivers, generally with a seasonal snow cover. In summer, they are often found high in the mountains (even above tree line) to escape biting insects. They migrate in the fall to lower elevations.  


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.



BISON

(Bison bison)


LOCATION: The bison is traditionally an inhabitant of grass prairies, but bison are also found in open forests and mountainous areas. Within recent historical times, bison were spread over the greater part of the North American continent from the Northwest Territories (and perhaps also Alaska and the Yukon) to northern Mexico, and from eastern Oregon to the Appalachians. They are now found only in parks, refuges and private ranches in Canada and the United States. 

ANIMAL SUMMARY: Many people call the American bison by the name buffalo, but it is not a true buffalo like those found in Asia and Africa. Scientists tell us its forebears reached North America from Asia by crossing the Bering land bridge some two million years ago. The American bison, and its close relative the European bison, belong to the tribe Bovini, which includes the world's cattle, buffaloes and bisons. After the walrus, the bison is the largest North American game animal. Large bulls can weigh up to and well over 2,000 pounds. Females are much smaller. Both sexes have a large hump on the shoulders and a massive head that is carried low. The body is rather narrow in the hindquarters. The head, neck, and forequarters are covered with thick, shaggy hair, and there is a short beard. The tail is short and tasseled. The summer coat is a pale yellowish-brown; the winter coat is dark brown, becoming almost black on the head and shoulders. Both sexes have short horns that curve out and up from the sides of the head. Females have slimmer horns, a thinner neck, and a smaller hump than males. There are generally only two subspecies recognized. The plains bison was once widespread from the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians, and from the Canadian prairies to northeastern Mexico. The larger, darker and warier wood bison lived farther west, extending northward as far as the Northwest Territories and possibly as far west as the Bering Sea coast of Alaska. Today, there are large numbers of plains and wood bison hybrids in Yellowstone (U.S.) and Wood Buffalo (Canada) National Parks and elsewhere. The only remaining pureblooded wood bison are found in sanctuaries in northern Canada. From an estimated population of 50 million-75 million prior to the arrival of Europeans in North America, bison were reduced to fewer than 1,000 animals by 1890, with most of the slaughter taking place between 1870-1884. Today, well over 100,000 bison exist in Canada and the United States. The plains bison is secure, but the wood bison is on Appendix II of CITES (1975) and is listed as endangered by the USF&WS (1970). Canada, however, believes that its pureblooded wood bison populations are secure, and has opened limited permit hunting. Under present USF&WS regulations, these animals cannot be imported into the United States. John Jackson and Conservation Force, along with other organizations (including GSCO), are working toward possible importation of the wood bison by U.S. hunters.


BEHAVIOR: The bison is one of the world's most gregarious mammals. During the 19th century herds were said to be numbered in the millions. Bison feed almost exclusively on grasses and drink water regularly. Unlike other hoofed mammals, they will face into a storm because the heaviest part of their coat is in front. The usual gait is a plodding 5 mph, but able to gallop as fast as 30 mph if necessary. It is a good swimmer. Eyesight is poor, hearing is good, and sense of smell is very good. Mating usually occurs in the summer, with a single calf born the following spring. Life expectancy 20-25 years, and sometimes as much as 40 years.


Super Ten®/Super Slam®: For the Super Ten®/Super Slam®, only one bison is recognized and required. 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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MUSKOX

(Ovibos moschatus)


LOCATION: Present natural populations are on the north slope of the Canadian mainland from about Cape Bathurst eastward to Hudson Bay, throughout the Canadian arctic islands (except Baffin Island), and on the northern and eastern coasts of Greenland. There are introduced and/or reintroduced populations in Alaska, Quebec and the west coat of Greenland.

ANIMAL SUMMARY: The name “muskox” refers to the strong, musky odor emitted from the male’s facial glands during the rut. Muskoxen are believed to have migrated to North America over the Bering land bridge during the Glacial Age. The muskox can weigh up to 750 pounds or more. Females are about 30 percent smaller than males. The largest specimens have been recorded from the Canadian mainland; those from the high arctic and Greenland are much smaller. The muskox is relatively unchanged from prehistoric times. Its long, shaggy coat equips it superbly for life in the arctic. Its body hair is the longest of any animal, with individual guard hairs exceeding 24 inches in length. The dense inner coat of fine wool protects it from the cold and frost, while the outer coat, reaching past the knees, sheds snow and rain. The build is stocky, with slightly humped shoulders, short neck and legs and very large hoofs. The head is carried low. General coloration is dark brown, with the saddle and lower legs pale. Males have massive horns, forming bosses that nearly meet on top of the head, then curve down, around and up to sharp points. Females have similar horns, although they are much less massive.


BEHAVIOR: Muskoxen are gregarious, usually in herds of 10 to 20, but sometimes 100 or more. Males fight fiercely for possession of the females during the rut, repeatedly charging head-on with their horns smashing together. The rut is July-September, with one calf (rarely twins) born April-June and weaned after one year. Life expectancy is estimated at 15 years, although individuals have been known to live much longer in the wild. The muskox is mainly a grazer in summer and a browser in winter. Eyesight and hearing are believed to be acute. The muskox usually moves slowly and stolidly, but is actually swift and agile if necessary, able to sprint at least 25 mph and run for a considerable distance at 15-20 mph. It easily climbs steep slopes and cliffs and is a good swimmer. Its principal enemy is the wolf. Muskoxen are brave, capable fighters that have learned to deal with wolf packs by forming a tight circle or a phalanx.  


Super Ten®/Super Slam®: Populations are stable and increasing, with 85,000 to 95,000 in Canada, of which 60,000 are on Banks and Victoria Islands. Two subspecies are usually recognized, barren ground muskox and Greenland muskox. For the Super Ten®/Super Slam®, either can be counted. 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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AMERICAN MOUNTAIN GOAT

(Oreamnos americanus)


LOCATION: The high mountain ranges of northwestern North America, from southern Alaska southward through the Coastal Mountains of British Columbia to the Cascades of Washington, and in the Rockies of British Columbia, Alberta, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. There are also limited populations in the Yukon, and in the Mackenzie Mountains of the Northwest Territories. It has been introduced on Kodiak, Baranof and Chichagof Islands in Alaska; on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington; in northeastern Oregon; in several areas in Montana; in the Black Hills of South Dakota; and in several ranges in Colorado.  

Description: The American mountain goat’s shoulder height is 35-40 inches and can weigh up to 300 pounds. The shaggy coat is white or yellowish white (vanilla) in color, with long under wool, and longer guard hairs that form a stiff mane on the neck and rump, and pantaloons on the thighs. The legs are long and heavy, and the large hoofs have rubbery pads in the center for sure footing on rock. Black scent glands are located behind the horns in both sexes. Both males and females grow short, sharp, black horns. The horns of the female are slimmer, straighter, and less divergent at the tips than those of the male, and can be longer as well.


Habitat: Steep slopes, cliffs and glacier edges in alpine areas that have low temperatures and heavy snowfall. Sometimes in nearby meadows and valleys.


Remarks: The mountain goat is a first-rate game animal. Its eyesight is as good as that of a mountain sheep and it occupies far more difficult ground. It is most easily stalked from above, because it does not usually anticipate danger from that quarter. A mountain goat makes a spectacular full mount, especially when taken in late season when the hair is long and thick. Care should be taken not to shoot one in a place where the brittle horns will be broken from a fall-or to shoot one where it cannot be recovered. When hunting in precipitous areas, ropes and other mountaineering gear should be available. Because of its generally inaccessible habitat, the mountain goat has been less affected by people than any other North American big game animal. The name "mountain goat" is misleading because, biologically, it is not a true goat; it is a member of the Rupicaprini tribe-the goat-antelopes-whose members are more primitive than true goats. They include the chamois of Europe and the serow and goral of Asia. Scientists believe the American mountain goat originated in Asia and migrated to North America over the Bering land bridge about 600,000 years ago.



PRONGHORN ANTELOPE

(Antilocapra americana)


LOCATION: Pronghorns were found originally from southern Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba southward to the central Mexican plateau, and from the Great Plains westward almost to the Pacific Ocean. Today, the largest population is in Wyoming, with substantial numbers also found in the states of Montana, South Dakota, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Oregon, Texas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Arizona, Nevada and California, and in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

ANIMAL SUMMARY: This trophy type is usually called antelope or pronghorn antelope in North America, neither of which is correct. It is the sole survivor of a large group of prehistoric spiral-horned and fork-horned ungulates that populated North America one to two million years ago. The pronghorn is a strictly North American animal. It was never in South America, and did not arrive from Asia across the land bridge that once stretched across the Bering Sea, as did most other North American game animals; it was already here. Like the bovids and deer, the pronghorn is a ruminant or cud-chewer. A pronghorn buck will weigh 100-140 pounds with Females weighing about 20 percent less. The pronghorn is a slender, graceful animal that is a little smaller than most American deer. Its coat is long and thick, with brittle and cellular hair. The upper parts range in color from tan to reddish-brown. The underparts, two bands under the neck, and the sides of the head are white. There is a large white rump patch of longer hairs that can be erected at will and used as a warning signal. Males have a broad, black mask from eyes to nose and black patches on each side of the neck, while females lack these features. The eyes are very large. There are only two toes, or hoofs; the lateral toes, or false hoofs, are absent. The pronghorn is the only living North American ungulate without false hoofs. Males (and some females) have horns consisting of a laterally flattened, unbranched, bony core that is attached to the skull and overlaid with a hard, fibrous sheath that is shed each year after the rut. The horn sheath has the same chemical basis (keratin) as hair, hoofs, nails and feathers. A new sheath develops under the old one, eventually pushing it off, and forms a short branch, or prong, roughly halfway up its length and pointing forward. The pronghorn is believed to be the only horned animal in the world that has branched horns and actually loses its horns each year. The male's horns average about 12 inches in length, but can be much longer. Females may grow very small (3-4 inches) unpronged horns, or none at all.  


BEHAVIOR: Pronghorns are gregarious, living in small mixed groups in summer, and in larger bands of as many as 100 in winter. They mate in the fall, with the young (usually one at the first birth and twins thereafter) dropping in May or June. They are sexually mature at 15-16 months and fully mature at 4-5 years. Life expectancy is 7-10 years. They are active at all hours, with no fixed feeding or resting periods, and are both a grazer and a browser. The pronghorn does not paw through deep snow to feed, but moves to areas where wind has swept the snow away. It drinks water where available, but is able to survive on moisture from plants. It is alert and wary, yet highly curious. Eyesight is truly remarkable, as they are able to recognize moving objects at great distances. Hearing and sense of smell are very good. The pronghorn is the fastest runner in North America, and is able to sprint at 60 mph or more, and maintain 40-50 mph for several miles. It is a good horizontal leaper, but does not care to jump fences, preferring to go under or through them. It is a good swimmer, but avoids deep water.  


Super Ten®/Super Slam®: There are several subspecies of pronghorns, but for the Super Ten®/Super Slam® only one is recognized for inclusion. Any legally taken trophy can be counted. 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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CALIFORNIA BIGHORN SHEEP

(Ovis canadensis californiana)


LOCATION: British Columbia: Southern part, in the Caribou, Thompson-Nicola and Okanagan wildlife regions. Idaho: Southwestern part, south of Interstate 84 in Owyhee and Twin Falls counties (non-indigenous). Nevada: Northwestern part, north of Interstate 80 in Washoe, Humboldt and western Elko counties. Oregon: Southeastern part, mainly in Harney and Malheur counties. Utah: Small population in the northwestern part of the state. Washington: North-central part, near the B.C. border in Okanogan and Ferry counties; central part, in Kittitas and Yakima counties; and southeastern part, in Asotin, Garfield and Columbia counties.  

DESCRIPTION:  The California bighorn is considerably smaller than the Rocky Mountain bighorn, with rams of the same age weighing as much as 50 pounds less. The horns are shorter and less massive, and tend to have more flare. The ears are longer, the coat is not as heavy, and the color is lighter, being more gray than brown. Normally a dark stripe extends from the dorsal area through the white rump patch to connect with the dark tail, whereas in the Rocky Mountain bighorn this stripe is usually interrupted or absent.


HABITAT: Less steep and rough than that of the Rocky Mountain bighorn, with more grass and less browse.


REMARKS: Present United States populations are largely the result of transplants from British Columbia through the cooperation of the B.C. Fish and Wildlife Branch.



DALL SHEEP

(Ovis dalli dalli)


LOCATION: Most of Alaska’s mountain ranges; the extreme northwestern corner of British Columbia; the northern and western Yukon Territory; and the Mackenzie Mountains in the Northwest Territories.  

DESCRIPTION: The Dall sheep is pure white, with amber hoofs and horns. The horns are slimmer than in other North American sheep, more triangular in cross section and relatively longer. Horn conformation varies with region, some ranges featuring sheep with tight curls, others with more flare; however, the typical mature Dall ram has horns that flare outward at the tips after making a full curl. Dall sheep are somewhat smaller and slimmer than Stone sheep.


HABITAT: Alpine country, including glacier edges, below permanent snow line. Essential elements are steep, rugged cliffs and rock outcroppings for escape from predators, and nearby meadows for feeding.


REMARKS: The Dall ram is currently the least difficult and least expensive North American sheep to hunt. Dall sheep numbers are high and are stable throughout their range. Dall hunts in Alaska are typically conducted on foot from fly-in camps. All hunts in northwestern British Columbia are horse hunts. The Yukon offers horse hunts and fly-in hunts. The Northwest Territories offers horse hunts, fly-in hunts, riverboat hunts and strenuous backpack hunts. On horse hunts, the horses are used only on the approach, with the actual stalk made on foot.



DESERT BIGHORN SHEEP

(Ovis canadensis nelsoni)


LOCATION: Arizona: (Northwest part of the state), California: (Southeastern part, mainly in the Mohave Desert, but also in the Colorado Desert in the far south), Colorado: (Southwestern part, south of the Colorado River and west of the Gunnison River), Nevada: (Southern part), Texas: (Western part), Utah: (Southwestern and south central part of the state).

Description: Weight 150-170 pounds. The desert sheep is a bighorn that has adapted to a hot, arid environment with limited forage and water. It is smaller than the Rocky Mountain bighorn, with a smaller skull, bigger ears, paler color and a short coat. The white rump patch is smaller and usually is divided by a dark tail stripe. The horns are almost as large as those of a Rocky Mountain bighorn and tend to have more flare. This – combined with the smaller body size and shorter coat – makes the horns of a good desert ram appear huge and almost out of proportion to its body.


Habitat: Desert mountains with sufficient permanent water. Water is essential. While desert sheep may forage for considerable distances, they must return to drink every few days during hot weather.


Remarks: The desert bighorn is usually the last ram of a “Grand Slam” to be taken, and is often never taken at all. It must be hunted on foot in steep mountains with crumbling rock and under hot, waterless conditions. But the greatest obstacle is the lack of permits. Limited permits are available through drawing in Arizona, Nevada and a few other states, but few permits are allotted to non-residents.  Since permits are more limited for this North American wild sheep than the Dall, Stone or bighorn, it is usually the Desert Sheep that becomes the biggest obstacle to completing a Grand Slam. Some are lucky enough to draw a coveted permit in one of the western states while others usually have to pay premium prices for a Mexico permit or special Governors permit.



ROCKY MOUNTAIN BIGHORN SHEEP

(Ovis canadensis canadensis)


LOCATION: Alberta: Western part of the province along the Rocky Mountains near the border with British Columbia. -         Arizona: Southeastern part of the state near the border with New Mexico. -         British Columbia: The Omineca-Peace and Kootenay wildlife regions in the Rocky Mountains near the border with Alberta. Also introduces in two areas (Unit 3-17, west of Spences Bridge, and Unit 3-20, southeast of Kamloops) in the Thompson-Nicola Wildlife Region that were formerly California bighorn habitat. -         Colorado: Throughout the Rocky Mountain region. -         Idaho: Western and central parts north of I-84. -         Montana: Western parts. -         Nebraska: Northwestern part of the state. -         Nevada:East-central part near Mt. Moriah. -         New Mexico: Southwestern part near the Arizona border, and in the Pecos Wilderness in the north-central region. -         Oregon: Northeastern corner. -         South Dakota: (non-indigenous): Three areas in the southwestern part, where they were introduced from Wyoming and Colorado. This was once the range of the extinct Audubon bighorn. -         Utah: One herd in the northeastern part on the Nevada border, another northeast of Green River. -         Washington: Extreme southeastern parts. -         Wyoming: Mainly in the northwest, but also in the north-central and south-central parts.        

DESCRIPTION: Weight: 200-250 pounds, occasionally as much as 300 pounds. The Rocky Mountain bighorn is the largest sheep in North America and one of the largest in the world. It is a heavy-bodied animal with massive horns and a full, coarse, grayish-brown coat. The muzzle is white, as are the backs of the front legs and insides of hind legs. The belly is white in the groin area, with the white color sometimes extending forward onto the chest. The rump patch is large and white, surrounding the dark tail. The horns are very thick at the base and tend to carry the thickness throughout their length. Typically, the horns curl close to the head and are broomed off at the eyes where further growth would interfere with vision.


HABITAT: Mountain ridges and basins, usually above timber line, but often in timbered areas as well.


REMARKS: It has been said that of all the world’s sheep, the Rocky Mountain bighorn – especially one with horns of trophy proportions – is by far the most difficult to collect. Surveys indicate that bighorn hunts have the lowest success ratios of all sheep hunts.



STONE SHEEP

(Ovis dalli stonei)


LOCATION: Northern British Columbia north of the Peace River, extending northward into the southern Yukon Territory.

DESCRIPTION: Weight 180-220 pounds, exceptionally as much as 250 pounds. The Stone sheep is a handsome animal, differing from the Dall mainly by not being white. Individuals vary greatly in color and pattern, ranging from almost white in the north through shades of gray and brown to nearly black in southern areas. Sheep of various colors may be found in the same group. The head, and often the neck, are a lighter color than the body. The muzzle, belly, backs of legs, and rump are white. The tail is black, and is usually connected by a dark band to the dark hairs of the back. The Stone sheep is somewhat larger and chunkier than the Dall sheep, with heavier, darker-colored horns. Horns are brown or dark amber and the age rings are more clearly defined than in Dall or bighorn rams.


HABITAT: Alpine country, including glacier edges, below permanent snow line. Essential elements are steep, rugged cliffs and rock outcroppings for escape from predators, and nearby meadows for feeding.


REMARKS: Stone sheep hunts are more expensive than those for Dall sheep, and there are fewer licenses available. All hunts are conducted with horses, and can often be arranged to include other species as well. Many sportsmen consider the Stone sheep to be the finest North American big game trophy.


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