Kentucky Hunter Shatters Harvesting State Record on First Day of Elk Season

by Will Shepard

Kentucky boasts one of the best elk hunting grounds in the United States. On the first day of the season, Kentucky Hunter Rick Pflanz and his guide, Hurley Combs, found a herd of elk.

It was early in the morning on September 5, and Pflanz was taking note of his surroundings. The hunter and his guide were roughly within 150 yards of some big elk.

He explains that he was in awe of his surroundings. In an interview, he talks about almost forgetting where he was in the U.S. for the hunt.

“You’re seriously like, ‘What the heck? Are we in Kentucky, or did we somehow end up time-warped out in Montana somewhere?’ It was awesome. It was incredible. We were probably within 150 yards of these elk. We were just sitting up and watching.”

Bowhunting is hard, but on this foggy morning, it was pure elation for the Kentucky hunter. In fact, that morning, he shot a state record bull elk. Some hunters don’t like to harvest an elk on the first day, but a record elk seems to change that mentality.

The elk measurements are astounding. The official Boone and Crockett scorer measured the typical elk at 350 4/8 inches. The elk was also determined to be between eight and nine years old.

Even though the hunter is still enjoying the kill and subsequent meat, he thinks that the record will be broken at some point. On top of it all, the Kentucky hunter remains quite humble about bringing down the elk.

“It was all luck. But, I’d rather be lucky [than good] any day.”

Hunter Finds the Goods in Kentucky

Pflanz lives in Indiana and often hunts there for deer and turkey. But, he also ventures down into Kentucky to hunt for elk, bear, and more plentiful deer and turkeys. Eastern Kentucky seems to hold more of those animals than does Indiana.

He also says that hunting in Kentucky is like another world. He enjoys its remoteness and limited human exposure. All of these things help to make the hunting excellent.

“It’s like a different country. And, it’s only three hours away from us. It’s kind of cool.”

However, the hunt in Kentucky was almost put in jeopardy. About three weeks before the trip, Pflanz broke his bow and thought that the trip might not actually happen.

Instead, the broken bow actually proved to be a blessing in disguise as he got to upgrade his arsenal. His shooting consequently improved. He quickly became more accurate, as well as being able to shoot confidently from farther away.

“My old bow would never have done that. When you go down there, you have equipment that you feel 100% confident in. I owe those guys at Great Outdoors. Bob is the man. I’ll just tell you that.”

With the new bow and newfound confidence, the hunter finds his name in the history books. But, Pflanz decided to give the elk as a mantlepiece to the Cabela’s that got him the bow. Now, people are traveling to the store just to admire the once-in-a-lifetime bull.

“There’s a lot of people in Kentucky who want to see it. That’s going to be kind of cool when it’s down there.”

So, now all that’s left for the hunter is to try and etch his names into other state record books across the U.S.

[H/T Dubois County Herald]