The new world record grizzly bear came so close that archer Rodney Debias could smell the bear and hear him breathing.
Rodney Debias of Windber, Pennsylvania took an Alaskan grizzly bear in 2009 that was officially recognized as the new Pope & Young world record earlier this year.
Although an experienced and successful bowhunter, Debias’ dream of taking a grizzly bear with his bow eluded him for many years. Circumstances, however, were in his favor when in 2009 he was able to fly to Unalakleet, Alaska to pursue his dream.
Although Debias and his guide, Don Stiles, saw the big bear two or three days into the hunt, it took eight full days of hard hunting, in nasty, icy conditions before Debias had his opportunity at the monster.
Of that first glimpse of the record bruin, Debias recounted in a 2011 story for “Bowhunter” magazine, “Don spotted a beautiful blond bear 600 yards away, and I noticed another bear 100 yards below Blondie. Don guessed the blond at 7½ feet, the other at 7 feet. As we watched them, a huge chocolate bear ran between the two. He looked like a Mack Truck passing between two Honda Civics!”