HomeOutdoorsPHOTO: Montana Mushroom Hunter Finds Monster-Sized Elk Skull

PHOTO: Montana Mushroom Hunter Finds Monster-Sized Elk Skull

by Jon D. B.
(Photo by Raymond Gehman/Corbis via Getty Images)

The find of a lifetime: This Montana Outsider brought home the most impressive elk dead head we’ve ever seen – one you’ll want to spot for yourself.

Imagine setting out to harvest some mushrooms, only to find this absolute bull behemoth. One Montana man did exactly that after his local forest service burned out a hillside. According to Shed Hunters, this gargantuan bull elk was already dead, and the cleansing fire left his remarkable skull – antlers intact – in its wake. It is, by all accounts, an absolute monster specimen.

The gent doesn’t specify if he found his mushrooms, but what he did find was an “official score gross non typical is 439, net 422” free-range dead head. Take a look:

Montana man was out with a friend looking for mushrooms after the forest service burned a hillside. This bull had…

Posted by Shed Hunters on Monday, October 19, 2020

There’s a little forced perspective at play here, which is honestly a bit of a shame. This giant would be impressive straight-on regardless. No knocks for playing it up, however, as this dead head is a once-in-a-lifetime find.

Simply put, a “dead head” is the skull of a cervid with the antlers still intact. They’re not as uncommon as you might think, but always make for a “holy grail”-type find for shed hunters. Especially when the specimen is a rarer cervid, like this bull elk, a moose, or caribou.

Deer, Moose, or Elk: The Rules & Regulations of Dead Heads

A white elk, also known as a wapiti, stands on a snowy mountainside and raises his head to look around. (Photo by W. Wayne Lockwood/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

Shed hunting is a common Outsider practice, one that’s remarkably fulfilling. As you might expect, though, there are separate rules and regulations for dead heads. As a far more complete specimen, these finds need to be properly documented, and in some cases tagged, before a hunter is able to bring one home.

If you’re shed hunting, or dead head hunting specifically, be sure to check your state’s conservation legislature first. Nearly all states require a tag for dead head specimens, the same as if you were hunting the deer, elk, etc. in the first place.

It’s likely this Montana gent had a tag, as his remarkable find has been heavily documented. Do so yourself, and you’ll be all set with one of the wild’s coolest trophies.

Originally, the bull elk was spotlighted by Shed Hunters on Facebook in late 2020. The hunter remains anonymous, but we’re sure his friends and family know all about it.

What a find!