LOOK: Pinecone Collectors Discover Oregon’s Second Largest Bull Elk in State History

by Jon D. B.
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Monster Bull: You’ll have to see the rack of this Union County bull elk – the second-largest typical Rocky Mountain elk in Oregon history – to believe it.

After the required 60-day waiting period, this mammoth elk‘s remains have been officially scored at 406 6/8. It’s hard to get a sense of this bull’s true scope in numbers alone, but the photo below (and more courtesy of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife‘s report) speaks volumes. Such near-unbelievable size makes the elk the second-place record holder for a typical Rocky Mountain specimen in Oregon.

Certified scorer for Northwest Big Game Records Inc, Mark Penninger, would oversee the bull elk’s scoring.

Bull elk of this caliber are incredibly rare in Oregon but it’s great to see that they are still around,” Penninger tells ODFW. As a man who’s seen plenty of impressive elk, Penninger still describes this rack as “jawdropping.”

And as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation says on Twitter: “That’s a big bull…”

“This bull is testament that age, good genetics, and high-quality habitat can produce truly world class elk,” Penninger continues. He would officially score the bull elk early into November after the necessary 60-day window.

As ODFW explains, “An animal must undergo a minimum of 60-day drying period before it is officially scored as skulls and antlers will shrink some after their first ‘green’ score immediately after harvest or pick-up.”

Pinecone Crew Unearths Unbelievable Bull Elk Trophy

As for the finder, the skull and antlers were discovered by a pinecone collecting crew working private timberland in the Catherine Creek Unit. They found the bull’s remains during the summertime before turning them over to the ODFW, the dept. cites. This transfer is important to note, as it is unlawful to possess or transport found dead game mammals (or their parts, except for naturally shed antlers or certain parts when salvaging roadkill) in Oregon due to poaching concerns.

The pinecone crew’s discovery now beats out an elk bull from Grant County for Oregon’s second-place scoring. That elk, brought in by Jim Sproul, now sits in third with antlers measuring 401 1/8. That’s more than 5 inches short of this massive new record holder.

Sproul’s elk would stay on display in the John Day Elks Lodge until a tragic fire, Pennington says. It was notable for having “the longest main beam of any bull anywhere for a long time.”

It’s been since 1984 that an elk with typical antlers has scored higher than 400. Currently, the #1 Rocky Mountain elk score for Oregon belongs to a monstrous 418 2/8 bull taken in Crook County in 1942. ODFW attributes that historic harvest to Hugh Evans.

Below these top 4, ODFW adds that all Rocky Mountain bull elk antler scores drop into the high 300s. Elk of this 400+ caliber are rare and magnificent beasts, indeed.

ODFW Note: ODFW does not track trophy records but will be submitting the score to Northwest Big Game Records for official placement. Northwest Big Game Records is one organization that keeps records of game animals including both those hunters harvest and those found dead.

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