Rumors have been flying this fall about a new world record elk shot down in Utah, and now, the world’s record keeper, the Boone and Crockett Club, has confirmed it.
On September 30, Denny Austad of Ammon, Idaho, downed the monster bull while hunting on public land in the Fishlake National Forest in south-central Utah.
According to a press release from the Club, Austad hunted for 13 days before getting a shot at the trophy, which has been dubbed the “spider bull” for its unique antler configuration.
A special judges panel convened by the Club determined a final score of 478-5/8 B&C non-typical points, an incredible 93-plus inches above the minimum score of 385 for non-typical American elk, and more than 13 inches larger than the previous world 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, in the release. “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 previous world 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.
Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Missoula-based Boone and Crockett Club promotes guardianship and visionary management of big game and associated wildlife in North America. The Club maintains the highest standards of fair-chase sportsmanship and habitat stewardship, and is the universally recognized keeper of the records of native North American big game.