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.
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 www.booneandcrockettclub.com.