9 Yr. Old Girl Takes Record Book Brown BearGary Gustafson, Bear Hunting Magazine
|Fern Spaulding-Rivers With Her Trophy|
An urban legend about a young lady and a world-record brown bear has been circulating on the internet. Here is one version:
"This 9 year old girl from the Yukon killed the new world record brown bear on the Alaskan Peninsula in October, 2006. Skull size 33 1/16", 11' 9" nose-to-tail. Estimated weight of 1,800 Lbs. No, this bear had not killed anyone. It was the girls first-ever bear hunt!"
No, she was not from the Yukon and no, it was not a world record, but the true story is just as fascinating:
From "Biggest Bears Of 2006" in the March/April 2007 issue of Bear Hunting Magazine, due on newsstands late February 2007:
If the "biggest bear" is determined as a ratio of the size of the bear to the size of the hunter, Fern Spaulding-Rivers is probably setting records that will never be broken. The 10 year-old from Talkeetna, Alaska has already harvested great trophies of most of Alaska's major game species, and she is a handloading fanatic as well. Fern's larger caliber rifles have a muzzle brake and a recoil pad and she also wears a custom-made padded shooting vest from McCoy Shooting Armor to help her withstand big bore recoil. Fern was brown bear hunting on the Alaskan Peninsula with her father and mother on May 10th, 2006 (when she was 9 years old). She was carrying her Remington 700 Stainless chambered in .375 H&H and topped with a Zeiss Diavari Classic 1.5 - 4.5 x 18 scope. As the day progressed she and her father saw 11 bears. At one point, they were charged by a wolf, and they had to dispatch it at only 8 paces! Later, they spotted a big bruin in a gully at 32 yards. With all the excitement of the day beginning to show, Fern asked Larry to hold her legs steady while she shot because her knees were shaking. Fern rolled the bear with her first shot, but the bruin regained it's footing and tore off across the tundra. Shooting again from a prone position, Fern dropped the behemoth for good with a second 270 grain Barnes Triple-shock at 112 yards. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service measured the bear's hide at 11'4" from nose to tail. The skull has been officially scored at 29 1/16" Boone and Crockett. What does Fern think of bear hunting? "Do you know how big an 11' bear looks at 30 yds? It's kinda scary! They are about the size of a Volkswagen bus and when they swing their head to look your way they remind you of a T-Rex in Jurassic Park!" Her trophy brown bear now puts her in an elite class. Fern is a tremendous example to young hunters everywhere, and she is a great hunter regardless of her age.