New World Record Elk

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.


  • http://LongRangeShooter.com Mike

    SPIDER BULL is right! What an incredible blessing for that man! Whoyah Denny! 13 days, man that is the patience of Job, hehehhe :{)

  • Dave Smith

    By no means a long shot. This is crass commercialization ($170K) of a public resource. Hardly fair chase when you have an army of guides to corral the bull till they can call the “shooter” in from Idaho to make the kill. The ugly face of market hunting. Poor PR for hunting and those who earn their trophies the old fashioned way: blood and sweat.

  • http://longrangeshooter.com Sean

    I have to say Dave that I agree with you about the matter of how the elk was killed. I give more credit to the guy that hunted it down by him self then the guy that just waits for a phone call.

  • Ivan

    But as long as powerful “conservationists” like Ted Turner continue to buy multi-million acre swaths of american wilderness and then lease it out for prize hunting, then what is the point?

    I fully & entirely agree with Ted & Jane’s position regarding world population overcrowding and their perceived need to depopulate by 5 billion to lessen the burden on natural resources.
    Lets start with Ted & Jane. Y’all go first. 🙂

  • Red October

    My comment is above.

  • Chopaka81

    Dave, What is the source of your info regarding the manner in which this bull was taken in less than fair chase circumstances?

  • http://longrangeshooter.com Sean
  • http://http:// Chopaka81

    That does not sit well in my gut either. Being a hard working, boot on the ground, self reliant, fair chase hunter… this trophy causes me to stop and ask, “what has hunting come too…? Makes me feel very fortunate to have ground that I can still give my boots a workout on. What’s next… using google earth to spot your game? What the heck, the cops over in Europe did, they just busted a pot field grow operation.

  • kyle

    After reading about this so called “world record elk” it makes me sick. there is no way this elk belongs in the books as the new world record, it shold be classified as a game farm elk. Nothing about this kill was true to the sport we call hunting. The facts are that he bought this elk, it should be illegal since he shot it with a rifle and not a muzzleloader like everyone else in that zone had to use for that season. How is it fair he gets to do that when any other person applys for points and dosent even get the chance for years to hunt there. It just shows that money buys you a trophy now. I just think we are setting a bad example for our next generation hunters if we keep allowing “trophys” like this in the record books.

  • Tammy

    this doesn’t make me very happy…what about god animals??? why would someone hurt them

  • http://longrangeshooter.com Sean

    Because they are really REALLY good. yum yum

  • http://survivaldigest.com Chad

    I was talking to a feller from Utah about the Spider Bull at the Friends of NRA banquet the other week. He said that the guy who took the bull was paying about 10 people full time to scout the area. Once the bull was spotted the guy was radioed and drove in to take the shot.

  • http://longrangeshooter.com Sean

    He probably had a helicopter scouting the area to. He spent so much money why would he stop at just people.