New World Record Elk – The Spider Bull

Spider Bull Feature

Well, it is finally official. Boone & Crockett put together a special panel scoring for the Spider Bull and have now declared that the Denny Austad Spider Bull is the new official world record elk. You can read an article here we put together titled “Is the Spider Bull Legit – a look back at this pending world record elk“. This was originally published in the Best of 2008 issue of Hunting Illustrated. Boone & Crockett, through their own investigation, have determined the Spider Bull to be legit and taken using fair chase standards. The article we assembled here also concludes the same outcome – the Spider Bull is legit and should be the new world record non-typical elk.

Spider Bull - New World Record Elk
A lot of speculation. A lot of name calling. A lot of everything went into the last five months. Regardless, the bull has been accepted and set a whole new level to the elk world record. Here is the list of the scores as they came in:

Green Score: 488 net, 500 4/8 gross

Official B&C entry score after 60-day drying period:
480 1/8 net, 501 0/8 gross

Official accepted entry panel B&C score: 478 5/8 net, 499 3/8 gross

Too bad his official gross score couldn’t have hit the 500 mark. Here is the official press release from Boone & Crockett about the new declaration of this world record bull along with a video walk around I did with the antlers.

Boone and Crockett Club Confirms New World’s Record Elk

MISSOULA, Mont.—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 Crockett Club.
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 National Forest.
“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,” said Buckner. 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 increase. 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.

About the Boone and Crockett Club
Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the 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. Member accomplishments include protecting Yellowstone and establishing Glacier and Denali national parks, founding the National Forest Service, National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System, fostering the Pittman-Robertson and Lacey Acts, creating the Federal Duck Stamp program, and developing the cornerstones of modern game laws. The Boone and Crockett Club is headquartered in Missoula, Mont. For details, visit

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18 Comments on "New World Record Elk – The Spider Bull"

  1. Larry Gay says:

    Is there a way to get a copy of the score sheet anyplace?

  2. Greg Randall says:

    It is to bad that the Spider Bull caused so much controversy. It is a great bull that highlights what kind of bulls we have in the state of Utah. I can’t wait to draw my tag.

  3. Greg Randall says:

    It is to bad that the Spider Bull caused so much controversy. It is a great bull that highlights what kind of bulls we have in the state of Utah. I can’t wait to draw my tag.

  4. woody says:

    holy crap

  5. Ryan says:

    That thing is massive. It good to see monster trophies coming out of utah again. good luck in the field everyone.

  6. Shawn says:

    Nice Bull!

  7. Hunting Guy says:

    I’ve heard a lot about Spider bulls. They are like special bulls

  8. Rick Payne says:

    Hi Guy’s,

    Awesome Bull….what unit did he come from??………and what are the stats/drawing odds for that unit ??…………Thanks, Rick!!

  9. texas hunter says:

    The todays modern DNA science, I wonder if anyone is putting together a DNA map as to why certain bull elks grow such large antlers. Like the press release from Boone and Crockett said, one of the few elks to come close to 500 points was from the 1830s. Maybe all elks carry the genes for large antlers? Maybe only a few carry them?

    It would be nice to see some kind of study on the DNA level. That could say what areas are most likely to produce top of the line trophy elks.

    It would be interesting, at the very least.

  10. Big Green Tractor says:

    I have lived in FIllmore almost my entire life, hunted every hunt since I was 12. I can tell you that is a true bull. My best friend’s dad was one of the main guides for that Mossback team that grabbed that bull. Made a big chunk of change. Way to go Dean!

  11. Xbeidler says:

    Market hunting at its worst. If this bull was truly from this area, why haven’t previous year’s sheds surfaced? Pathetic.

  12. This thing is a beauty — awesome video as well!

  13. graham armstrong says:

    spider bull is an amazing bull. personally the any bull killed in fair chase is an amazing bull. I am not a fan of the high fence hunts. Anyone with enough money can drive out and shoot a monster. Dont think your a hunter just because you killed. Hunters are a special breed. Glad to see the bull of a life time goes to someone who spent some time in the woods. What a bull though way to go !

  14. Austin says:

    That bull was planted and the record is BS

  15. Josh Glasser says:

    Pretty cool looking bull but almost seems like he wasn’t a naturally grown elk. If so way to much publicity.

  16. Boghos Paul Tovmassian says:

    Amazing elk

  17. shedfreak says:

    elk age with the growth and shedding of horns it is a life cycle for them and if thats the case the so called spider bull would have to be very old and in the video it is young and at the price that he paid to kill it is ridicuolus

  18. Trevor says:

    Great lloking bull and everything. But kinda sad that it was taken from someone out of state and not by a local. He had some kind of special permit or won a bid to hunt it. Because in Utah the rifle Elk hunt doesnt even start til October. Also you cannot wear cammo on rifle hunts you have to wear blaze. So it was a special guided hunt. and thats crap because alot of locals were trying to get him for years. but they only saw him at sun up or sun down. nobody could get close to him durning the hunting seasons. But i guess its all about the $$$ these days.

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