LOOK: Absolutely Massive High-Fence Bull Elk Is a Potential World Record Breaker

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by Raymond Gehman/Corbis via Getty Images)

This massive bull elk killed on a high-fence ranch in southeastern Idaho could potentially set a new world record in the famed Safari Club International’s Record Book.

Last week, Brian Dhooghe harvested the bull from Broadmouth Canyon Ranch. He then brought the meat from the animal into Bay City Sausage in Aberdeen, Washington, to be processed last week.

The local game processor posted photos of the huge bull’s rack on Facebook on October 8th. The post has gone viral, and the majority of those comments frown upon Dhooghe and the practice of shooting elk on one of these high-fence game reserves.

Most outdoors organizations like the Boone & Crockett Club and the National Deer Association don’t believe high-fence hunting is equivalent to traditional fair chase. However, while most agree on this, high-fence hunting is a multi-million dollar industry.

The Facebook post containing photos of the unreal bull elk is located below.

Some commenters on the Facebook post questioned if the animal was actually real. Many claimed the pictures were Photoshopped. However, according to a worker at Bay City Sausage named Kyle Strode, who aw the rack with his own eyes. He says that it’s definitely real.

“Yeah, it was pretty wild. I took a picture of the rack,” Strode tells Outdoor Life, adding that he knew Dhooghe from processing other animals he’d brought there over the years. “Brian has been bringing stuff in forever. So, yeah. It’s a legit animal.”

Hunter Talks About Massive Bull Elk

Outdoor Life was interviewed Dhooghe, who talked about the potential record breaker.

Brian Dhooghe never claimed his bull elk was wild. However, he also says he didn’t travel to Idaho just to shoot a record-sized bull. Apparently, his trip to Broadmouth Canyon Ranch was a 50th birthday present from his wife. Dhooghe went out to the ranch last Monday after originally scheduling the trip in 2020. The trip was delayed because of COVID-19.

He says he had originally paid to shoot a 500-inch bull. However, the head guide made him a deal he couldn’t refuse. The guide mentioned a record-class bull elk on the 10,000-acre ranch. He told Dhooghe if they could find it, he could shoot that elk in addition to a mid-500’s bull. They agreed on a price.

In most high-fence operations, the client chooses which species and size of animal they’re aiming to shoot. Then, they make the corresponding charge. For instance, Bull Basin is a high-fence operation in Colorado that charges $15,900 for a 381- to 399-class bull. Most of these outfits guarantee success.

“They had told us this potential record was walking around, but I wanted a nice, big, sexy-looking bull to mount on the wall. And this thing is definitely not that,” Dhooghe says. “He’s ugly. I mean he’s awesome, but kind of freaky lookin’. It looks like something prehistoric, like, what the hell is that thing?”

Two of the guides at Broadmouth Canyon Ranch are certified as scorers by SCI. Dhooghe says they conservatively scored it at 648 and 4/8 inches.