Where are biggest brown bear from Europe?
The answer is simple and nobody can argue with that, Romania!
With more than 60% of total European brown bear population and first 10 top trophies of brown bears in Europe, Romania it is the place where the giants lives.
There are several determining factors that play a role in the size of a brown bear. Then there are several different points of views as what define a big brown bear. Some hunters go by weight, others by length of the skin, or CIC score of skin or skull. The overall size of a bear can vary based on age, sex, time of year and overall health. As general rule, same bear can weight with up to 30% more in the late fall than in the spring. Genetics, abundance or kinds of food sources, competition, hunting pressure, etc all determine where the biggest brown bears live.
Stories about big brown bear
Romania is full of stories about huge brown bear. Every outfitter and every hunting ranger can tell you a story of a bear bigger than every bear that have been shot before and of course that bear still roam free in the wildernest waiting for you to kill. The true is the biggest bears that ever been shot in Romania are Ceausescu bears. With his giant bear scoring a little over 687 CIC points, this size trophy is hard to beat . But I am sure our Carpathians mountains more trophy like that or at least closer to that size. There are some rumors that the successor of Ceausescu big bear is still living in Libearty Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti a huge place near Bran Castle. I saw this bear I can tell you it is the biggest bear I saw in my life, probably more than 700 CIC points.
Few tips on how to judge a trophy bear
In Romania we hunt bear in two different ways. First is the driven hunt and second is the bait hunt. If you want to take a big bear, you’re going to need to be able to judge them in the forest. Big brown bears have usually big head and short thick muzzle. But big head is not always a clue of a big bear. Here is a picture with a huge bear over 600 CIC points with a big body but with a small head that had a lot of interest between romanian guides and outfitters at that time.
Females’ faces are slender and more pointed than males. When you see a bear flip over a boulder with a single fore leg, he’s usually a pretty good bear. Another way to tell if a bear is a good bear is to look at the head and ears first. The smaller the ears look and the farther apart they seem, the better the bear. Next clue is the hump. Bigger the hump is, bigger the bear is.
Look at length of legs, chest size and how big the head is in comparison to the body. If his head and ears look small in comparison to his body he’s a giant. If his legs look thick top to bottom, that’s a good sign. A bear’s leg will look as big below the knee as above the knee. A female legs will have a V shape from top to bottom.
A young bear will always come first for the bait as the biggest come latest. A young bear will look more athletic. Large bears move slowly, swaying side to side with a big belly and an air of confidence about
Always a giant bear appear so big it looks like he’s dragging his belly when he moves. If the neck looks almost as big in front of the shoulder as his body does behind the shoulder, than bear is a trophy bear.
Where to hunt the biggest brown bears in Romania
The world record European brown bear for skin size was killed by our former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in Harghita county. For skull size if I remember correctly comes from Bistrita county and was killed by a foreign client 10 years ago. Unfortunately the trophy was not expose on any international expo and never been measured by a CIC commission, therefore is not homologated. Another great area for big brown bears is Fagaras mountain covering 2 counties, Arges and Sibiu.
You can also find impressive bears in Covasna county or in the county of Mures and Gorj. Last but not least is the county of Bacau where very huge bears have been shot over the years. There’s one thing that must be mentioned. The counties of Vrancea and Buzau where although there are not a large number of bears as in the counties mentioned above up, because of extensive hunting can be still found very old and big specimens.