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Boone and Crockett Club Confirms New World's Record Elk
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The Outdoor Wire is an opt-in only newsletter.
MISSOULA, Montana-Perhaps the largest elk ever produced in the wild-a Utah
bull taken in 2008 by a hunter on public land-has been confirmed as a new
World's Record. The official declaration was made Friday by the Boone and
A special judges panel determined a final score of 478-5/8 B&C non-typical
points, an incredible 93-plus inches above the Boone and Crockett minimum
score of 385 for non-typical American elk, and more than 13 inches larger
than the previous World's Record.
It is the only elk on record with a gross score approaching the 500-inch
mark, at 499-3/8. Official data dates back to 1830.
The giant bull has 9 points on the left antler and 14 points on the right.
The larger antler has a base circumference topping 9 inches.
The Boone and Crockett scoring system, long used to measure the success of
wildlife conservation and management programs across North America, rewards
antler size and symmetry, but also recognizes nature's imperfections with
non-typical categories for most antlered game. The bull's final score of
478-5/8 inches includes an amazing 140 inches of abnormal points.
"Along with measurements that honor the quality of the animal, Boone and
Crockett Club records also honor fair-chase hunting," said Eldon Buckner,
chairman of the Club's Records of North American Big Game committee.
"Through our entry process, signed affidavits and follow-up interviews with
the hunter, his guides, and state and federal officials, we were satisfied
that this bull was indeed a wild, free-ranging trophy and that the tenets of
fair chase were used in the harvest."
The hunter, Denny Austad of Ammon, Idaho, hunted the Monroe Mountain
District in south-central Utah. Hunting with a self-designed rifle, Austad
killed the bull on Sept. 30, 2008. He hunted for 13 days before connecting
with the trophy, dubbed "spider bull" for its unique antler configuration.
On behalf of the Boone and Crockett Club, Buckner congratulated Austad and
credited his new World's Record to the tremendous management of habitat and
wildlife by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and the Fishlake
"Utah's conservation professionals really deserve a pat on the back, as do
the citizens of Utah for their support of their state's wildlife programs,"
Across North America, ever-improving conservation practices have translated
to flourishing big game populations, with balanced age-class and mature,
trophy animals. Over the past 30 years, qualifying Boone and Crockett
records book entries for American elk have increased 193 percent from a
total of 14 in 1977 to 41 in 2007.
Across all categories of native North American big game, the overall trend
is even higher with 344 qualifiers in 1977 up to 1,151 in 2007-a 234 percent
The previous World's Record for non-typical American elk was 465-2/8 B&C
points. That bull was found dead, frozen in Upper Arrow Lake, B.C., in 1994,
and was entered into Boone and Crockett Club records by the provincial
Ministry of Environment on behalf of the citizens of British Columbia.
For hunter-taken non-typical American elk, the previous top bull scored
450-6/8 B&C points, taken in 1998 in Apache County, Ariz., by Alan Hamberlin.
The Boone and Crockett Club also keeps records for Roosevelt's and Tule elk.
World's Records for these categories are substantially smaller than those
for American elk.
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