North America’s Big 5 Trophy Hunts

Everyone knows about Africa’s big five—African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, rhinoceros—but here in North America, we’ve got our own big five trophy hunts. Sure, there’s not rhinos, but if you’ve ever come across a grizzly sow with cubs, you know she’s no tame kitten.

If you’re an American hunter, these five big game give you an experience like no other.

Black Bear

Sure, the black bear doesn’t seem as ferocious as the Grizzly, but due to their close proximity to humans, there’s significantly more black bear attacks every year than grizzlies. And with a top speed of 35 mph and males that can top 800 pounds at six feet tall, they’re not the easiest animals to take down so be sure to use a rifle with some stopping power.


America’s big wild cat, the cougar is a sneaky, stealthy animal who’s not easy to hunt. Many hunters use guides or hounds (although they’re not permitted everywhere so be sure to check local ordinances) to up their chances of encountering one. Cougars can run at 45 mph and make jumps high enough to clear a two-story building; only those quick on the draw can even get a shot in.


Although moose may seem like gentle creatures, there’s up to 1,500 pounds of muscle behind that 6.5 foot frame. Although they’re the largest member in the deer family, they’re not herd animals like whitetails and elk. Instead, moose tend to be solitary, making them more difficult to hunt.

Grizzly Bear

With males that can reach 2,000 pounds, there’s no doubt that the grizzly bear made America’s big five. Although they’re big, grizzlies aren’t slow. They can reach speeds of 30 mph and it takes a high caliber bullet to put one down. Oftentimes, it takes more than one.


A relative of the buffalo, bison are agile and quick, even with 2,000 pounds of muscle to haul around. They’re North America’s largest land animal and injure more people at Yellowstone National Park than any other creature.