The World Record Grizzly Bear Used to Belong to Little Old Lady who killed it with a .22

A picture of Bella Twin next to her bear’s skull

If you have never heard the story of Bella Twin and her world record grizzly bear you are not alone. I stumbled across her amazing story while scrolling through Facebook and it was too good not to tell.

Bella Twin was a Cree woman who lived near Slave Lake in Alberta. She was an amazing outdoorswoman who hunted, trapped and was a crack shot with a rifle. She was 63 years old when she killed the bear that would land her in the record books.

Bella standing in front of the her bear’s hide

On May 10th, 1953, Bella was small game hunting with her partner Dave Auger when a grizzly approached them out of a cut. The pair moved off the side hoping the bear would pass then by, but instead, it came right toward them. It got to a point that Bella thought it safer to shoot it than allow it to come any closer.

She threw up her rife, a Cooey Ace 1 single-shot .22 rimfire and shot it in the left side of the head sending the bullet into the bear’s brain. She added a few more shots to make certain it was dead.

The rife Bella used

The hide was displayed for many years in the Slave Lake beer hall, nailed to the wall. It moved on to the Reynolds Museum in Wetaskiwin, opened in 1955 by Stanley Reynolds. Today it’s stored at the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton, too threadbare to be displayed.

The bear’s skull was bought by a hunting guide and sent into Boone and Crocket to be measured. The bear’s skull measured 26 5/16 and was confirmed as the world record grizzly bear. The record has since been broken but Bella’s bear is still the current Alberta provincial record.

The skull from Bella’s Bear complete with .22 bullet holes

If you want to read more of the details of the story check out the article from Ammo Land or this article from Lake Side Leader.