HomeOutdoorsNews12-Year-Old Pennsylvania Boy Gets Rare Opportunity, Bags First Elk

12-Year-Old Pennsylvania Boy Gets Rare Opportunity, Bags First Elk

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by: Peter Zenkl/VWPics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Chris Bowersox, a middle schooler from Pennsylvania, had just turned 12 in August when he found out some exciting news. Chris was drawn by the Pennsylvania Game Commission for an elk hunting license.

“This was Chris’ very first year to put in for it, and he literally just turned 12, three days beforehand,” said his mother, Andrea Bowersox. “So that made it super cool. You never expect to get drawn. Shawn’s (Chris’ father) been putting in for it for years, and you just never expect to get drawn.

Andrea then immediately called Elk County Outfitters. She talked with owner Bryan Hale, who remembered the call as a roundtable discussion.

“It was a conference type call with Chris, his mom Andrea and dad Shawn (were) all on speaker phone and the excitement couldn’t be contained. We talked about a lot of things on that call as their minds were spinning and full of so many questions.”

They scheduled a date for a hunting trip. Along with Chris and Shawn would be Shawn’s work and hunting buddy, Shane Weaver.

For eight weeks before the hunt, Chris trained on his rifle. He estimated he put 150 to 200 140-grain Barnes Triple-Shock bullets down the barrel before leaving on the trip. Chris bragged that by the end of his training, and he was able to maintain an inch grouping at 100 yards.

The trip ran from October 31-November 4th.

Boy’s Father Recalls Moment Son Took Down Massive Bull Elk

The group arrived at Elk County Outfitters in Caledonia on Oct. 30. They had a picnic and met other hunters. Monday and Tuesday of the hunt were rainy, and Chris had no luck, spotting only an antlerless elk. The excitement began on Wednesday, when walking along a powerline, they spotted a bull elk. However, they weren’t able to nab that buck, but they had more luck the next day, when they encountered one elk.

“One was just walking in the woods so we couldn’t see it,” Shawn recalled. “So, there’s three bulls out in the opening at like 132 yards. I shot at the biggest one. It was a clean miss. Then they jumped back to 152 yards, and I shot again. Bryan said after I shot, he saw vapor coming out the back where the shoulder is, and it mule-kicked real hard. We thought I hit it pretty good this time. In that moment, I was like, ‘I’m excited. I think I actually got this one.’”

He did end up getting this one. Chris had downed a huge 7×7 bull. Hale heard the elk crash in the woods, and it didn’t take long for Chris to track down his kill. He found the 590-pound bull that “was dead,” Chris said. “We unloaded the gun and then jumped around. I was excited. I was glad I got one. There was a lot of excitement, but I was ready to be done.”

With the help of a local landowner, the group then removed the prize from the woods. After meeting with theGame Commission, the bull was brought to Potteiger Meats in New Kingston for processing. The elk was 454 pounds dressed.

Photos of the massive bull can be seen here.