Five of the Most Dangerous Big Game Animals in North America

News & Tips: Five of the Most Dangerous Big Game Animals in North America...

In the world of hunting, nothing compares to the thrill of taking down big game.

Though none of the infamous "Big Five" game—African elephant, Cape buffaloes, leopards, lions and rhinoceroses—are indigenous to the U.S., our country has its own share of potentially dangerous big game.

From growling, towering grizzlies to looming, lumbering bison, each massive animal presents a unique challenge for even the most skilled of hunters—and unique dangers, too. 

Through our research, we’ve complied these details on five of the most dangerous big game animals in North America. 

bison dangerousBison

Speed: Bison are agile and fast, capable of speeding across the land at speeds of 30 mph.

Size: Up to 2,000 pounds.

Threat: In one 19-year period, from 1980 to 1999, Bison injured more people than bears in Yellowstone National Park, charging a total of 79 people. In 1983, a bison killed a visitor to Yellowstone. Bison vs Buffalo: What are the differences.

grizzly bear dangerousGrizzly Bears

Speed: Grizzly bears have been clocked at 30 miles per hour.

Size: Male Kodiak Bears can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds and can stand as tall as 13 feet.

Threat: Annually, grizzly bears kill 1 in 35,000 humans.

From 1980 to 1999, bears injured only 24 people visiting Yellowstone National Park.

black bear dangerousBlack Bears

Speed: Up to 35 miles per hour.

Size: Can weigh between 600 and 800 pounds, and stand 6 feet tall.

Threat: Each year, black bears kill 1 in 100,000 humans.





Cougarsmountain lion dangerous

Speed: Up to 45 miles per hour.

They can also jump as high as a two-story building.

Size: Can weigh 150 pounds, and stretch up to six feet in length.

Threat: Cougars attacks occur roughly four times annually, with one fatality per year.


moose dangerousMoose

Speed: As fast as 40 miles per hour.

Size: Can weigh up to half a ton, and rise up to 6.5 feet (measured at shoulder).

Threat: In Yellowstone, there was only one known moose attack between 1980 and 1999.


National Park Services: Yellowstone Bison

Wildlife–Human Conflicts in Yellowstone

National Geographic Grizzly Bear

Ursus International Grizzly Bear

Get Bear Smart

The American Bear Association: Black Bear Facts

North American Animals: Danger

National Geographic Mountain Lion

Texas Parks and Wildlife: Animal Speeds

National Geographic Moose