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B&C World's Record - Non-typical American Elk

World's Record American Elk - Non-ypical

Denny Austad traveled all night to Richfield, Utah, to take the World's Record non-typical American elk, which was certified as a new World's Record by a Special Judges Panel in January 2009.

I was the successful bidder for a Utah governor’s elk tag in January 2008. A short time later, I contracted with Doyle Moss of Mossback Outfitters to guide me on the hunt. In early July, Moss sent me a video, shot a day or so earlier, of a bull elk in velvet known as the “spider bull.” From that moment, I began a rigorous exercise routine to get in shape for the hunt and an opportunity to take the "spider bull." And I finished building a new version of my .300 SA III rifle. 

On August 31, I drove to Utah’s Monroe unit and started hunting the next day. I quickly realized how difficult the hunt was going to be. The terrain was steep and visibility in the dark timber ranged from 20 to 50 yards most of the time. 


Even so, on September 12 we spotted the bull at the top of a very steep mountain, about a mile away. By the time we finally arrived at the spot where we had last seen the bull, he'd disappeared into the timber. We set up for a shot, but were unsuccessful at calling him in. 

We spotted him again on our way out, this time in a small opening in the trees. I set up and hurried a shot, but the bull didn't fall. We located his escape route and checked for blood, but didn’t find any— it was a clean miss. We hiked off the mountain, ate lunch, and hunted that evening without sighting him again.

We hunted a different side of the mountain the following day, but I really wasn’t feeling well, so we went back to camp. I decided I was too sick to hunt, folded up camp, and headed home. I was so sick, in fact, I wasn’t sure if I could even make it home. Later I learned that I had carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Moss called on September 29 and convinced me to drive all night, back to Richfield, for another attempt at the "spider bull." With less than an hour’s sleep, we set out for an area where Moss had last seen the bull and waited for daylight. About 8:30 a.m. we spotted the bull, and I dropped him with one shot from my newly designed rifle. The bull's final score and status as the new World’s Record non-typical American elk were verified by a Boone & Crockett Special Judges Panel that convened at my home on January 2, 2009.




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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt