An elk hunter in Pennsylvania is ending 2022 on a high note. Dave Kammerdiener just tagged the largest bull elk ever taken with archery equipment in Pennsylvania state history. Bow-hunting purists on social media were quick to shame the guy for using a crossbow instead of a compound or traditional bow, but he took the big bull down with an arrow and not a bullet. That means it counts as an archery kill. Though a somewhat controversial weapon within insular hunting communities, crossbows can be an excellent option for aging hunters or folks with injuries that prevent them from being able to pull back other types of bows.
Though you can make the argument that crossbow records should be scored separately from other archery records, the fact of the matter is that this hunter took down an absolute tank. It’s a feat that hunters should applaud regardless of the method this guy used for the hunt.
Though he shot the monster bull elk back in September, the story of his hunt was just recently shared with Outdoor Life. Making the successful elk hunt even more special is the fact that it took place on Kammerdiener’s 66th birthday. The bull was well-known to Matt Lutz, Kammerdiener’s guide with Trophy Rack Lodge. The bull’s rack was just officially measured by an official scorer with the Boone and Crockett Club this past Sunday, and the 11×7 monarch scored an unbelievable 446 and 0/8 inches. It shatters the state’s previous archery record, which was 400 and 2/8 inches. It’s the second-largest bull elk ever shot with any weapon in Pennsylvania history.
Massive Bull Elk Shot By Hunter In Pennsylvania Crushes State Archery Record
“Whenever I drew this tag for Pennsylvania, I said it was like me winning the lottery,” said Kammerdiener. “And when I got this bull, it was like hitting the Mega Millions.”
Elk tags in Pennsylvania are difficult to come by. Kammerdiener said he had to accumulate preference points for decades before finally being drawn for the once-in-a-lifetime hunt. He said because he knew it was such a rare opportunity, he needed to book an outfitter for the hunt. After doing his homework, he selected Matt Lutz’s services with full confidence that he would get a shot at a nice bull. He certainly didn’t expect to put a record-breaking rack of this caliber on the wall though.
Successfully hunting the gigantic elk didn’t come easy though. It took five straight days of early wake-ups and long, long hikes. On the evening of the 5th day of hunting, it finally all came together. The guides were able to call the bull into range just 15 minutes before the sunset on legal shooting hours.
“During the last five minutes, he really closed in. Matt gave a cow call, and right before he stepped out into the field, Matt was telling me: 50, 45. Shoot. Shoot,” said Kammerdiener. “I had a heck of a time because I wanted to make sure I had a good shot on him, but when I let her rip, it sounded like I hit a five-gallon bucket.”