Bear Down: Steve West Takes Largest Grizz With a Muzzleloader

That’s gonna be one hell of a taxidermy bill:

La Grande, OR, October 11, 2012 – This past weekend, Steve West, founder and host of Steve’s Outdoor Adventures TV, officially secured the Muzzleloader World Record grizzly bear, eclipsing the previous score by a full three inches, at 26 2/16″ B&C . . .

The score was made official by Kenny Leo, a long-time B&C scorer based in Price, Utah. “This is an incredible bear,” said Leo, “and to take a world record on film for television is not something you see every day.  It was a pleasure to be asked to score this bear for Steve.”

“Hunting with a muzzleloading gun is a magical experience. You only have one shot. It takes the exhilarating experience of hunting one step further, by combining the one shot challenge with a nostalgic awareness that hunting has been done this way well over 250 years.” said Dave Ehrig, for the Longhunter Society. “We take pride in all hunters’ accomplishments, but it’s quite special when a true trophy like Steve West’s grizzly bear crosses our desk. This was a fantastic accomplishment with a muzzleloader, particularly considering that he was doing it with the added challenge of a TV camera being present.”

West used a CVA .50 Caliber ACCURA V2 to make the 49 yard shot on the big grizzly. The bear was taken during a 10-day hunt in British Columbia with long-time friend and hunting celebrity Phil Phillips. West’s muzzleloader was topped with the Burris FastFire sight, and he was shooting the 405 grain Copper Powerbelt Bullets propelled by 150 grains of IMR whitehot pellets.

“I am extremely grateful to my sponsors and fans for making this hunt and my amazing hunting career possible,” said West. “Hopefully, public awareness from this hunt will encourage more people to pick up a CVA muzzleloader, start hunting and join the Longhunter Society.”

A two-part episode of the hunt recently aired on the Outdoor Channel and WILD TV, and can be viewed  The show features details of this world-record hunt, along with coastal black bear action featuring West, Phillips and some of West’s outfitter clients. More details on the airing can be found at


  1. avatar JoshinGA says:

    So…anyone here ever eaten bear meat? Or rather, is this a hunt for meat, or a hunt for a trophy?

    1. avatar Anon in CT says:

      My high school history teacher used to hunt bear (coastal black bear, not griz) with a blackpowder muzzle-loader. He brought spaghetti and bear meat in to class. Sort of like pork. Not bad.

    2. avatar Jarhead1982 says:

      Excellent table fare, especially in stroganoffs and stews or slowed roasted and glazed, drool, drool.

      Prefer Elk though!

    3. avatar pat says:

      Good question, as I am not a fan of trophy hunting as you are taking the animals that seed the next generation. Its also a waste if you dont use the meat and such.

  2. avatar Cyrano says:

    I would eat it if I shot it.

  3. avatar Mike S says:

    Lots of folks eat bear. Theres also nothing saying it cant be a trophy hunt AND the bear isnt wasted.

    1. avatar Craig says:

      Totally depends on the bear, where it lives, what time of year it is, what that bear eats, etc…Im definitely not saying its inedible but a coastal brown bear that eats salmon and other meat will taste horrible no matter how you cook it, or what you make the meat into. On the other hand an interior black bear that lives mostly off berries and other vegetation is not too bad.

  4. avatar Jay says:

    A bear can be “taken”? You mean killed?

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      No, kidnapped. Like the movie, silly.

      1. avatar Not Too Eloquent says:

        Very majestic beast. Oh wait, he’s dead. Big man.

        1. avatar percynjpn says:

          Well, I think bison, elk, deer, cape buffalo, wild boar, etc, etc are majestic beasts, too – and they’re dead when shot and killed. Are hunters who take them also derided as “big men”? If not, what’s the difference, and who gets to decide which beast is too “majestic” to be hunted and which isn’t?
          “Not Too Eloquent”, indeed.

  5. avatar Aharon says:

    While I will not vote against the rights of hunters to go trophy-hunting only (not hunting for food or to kill a predator) I can’t relate to it.

  6. avatar Culpeper Kid says:

    Common folks! Haven’t any of you been on a safari? The IP’s snap up the meat from the kills, it is an important supplement for their diet.

  7. avatar scm says:

    Magical, challenging, nostalgic experience my ass! I bet half his crew had big ol’ S&W wheel guns and semi auto rifles to put that bear down if he ‘missed’. Try that in a situation where if you miss you have to reload with a ton of pissed off grizzly charging at you, and then I’ll be impressed.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      In Canada? Sorry, no, they likely had neither. Bolt guns, maybe, but handguns of any type or semi-autos in Canuckistan? Not unless they wanted to court major court costs and jail time.

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    I’ll bet that Mr. West has already received death threats from PETA, the Animal Defense League and Winnie the Pooh.

    1. avatar Greg Camp says:

      When reached for an interview, Winnie the Pooh muttered something about honey and stuck his face back into a pot.

  9. avatar Greg Camp says:

    Anyone happen to know the velocity out of a blackpowder rifle for that round?

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Well, he wasn’t using black powder – he was using IMR “white hot” BP substitute.

      I’m going to make a SWAG that the muzzle velocity was in the range of 1300 to 1450 fps.

    2. avatar Jarhead1982 says:

      If one is serious about putting a whallop on dangerous game or whatever one shoots with a muzzle loader, only one I would consider owning is this 500 yrd capable muzzle load, the Ultimate Muzzleloader, check it out here

    3. avatar Jarhead1982 says:

      Here is an example page/chart of velocity and energy from a muzzleloader

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    Not sure about the velocity, but accuracy is Minute of Grizzly.

  11. avatar Uncle Lar says:

    At 49 yards the shooter was at most two seconds away from being gutted with one swipe of that bear’s very massive paw. IMHO to do that with a one shot weapon borders on the foolhardy, but Mr. West is a grownup so more power to him.
    As for the PETA crowd, bears are omnivores, they’ll eat just about anything but truly love meat. A bear that size has almost certainly killed and dined on hundreds of other animals in the course of a lifetime and finally succumbed to something just a bit higher on the food chain. It’s the natural order of things, so get over it.

  12. avatar jwm says:

    I was never a sport or trophy hunter. But this is a legal, regulated activity and I see no point in us getting involved in this mans choice as to what and how he hunts.

    I think hunting a large and potentially dangerous animal like this with a muzzle loader does even the odds up a bit.

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