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A Special Judges Panel was convened on January 2, 2009, to verify the final score of Denny Austad's non-typical American elk and certify it as a new World's Record. The Special Judges Panel consisted of four long-standing Boone and Crockett Club Official Measurers (from left) Frederick J. King, Jack Reneau, Roger Atwood, and Eldon L. "Buck" Buckner.

New World’s Record Elk Provides ‘Educational Moment

FRIDAY, february 6, 2009

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Boone and Crockett Club’s recent announcement of a new World’s Record elk has generated unprecedented news coverage as well as public craving for details about the giant bull.

Taken in 2008 by a hunter on public land in Utah, it is the only elk on record with a gross antler score approaching the 500-inch mark, at 499-3/8. Official data dates back to 1830.
“It’s been crazy. People across the country, including many non-hunters, are flooding the B&C headquarters with requests for more information about the new record elk, the habitat that produced it, the hunter’s role in conservation and our system of records keeping. It’s an educational moment unlike anything we’ve seen in years,” said Tony Schoonen, chief of staff for the Club.

Much of the desired info, said Schoonen, was complied during the Club’s research into the authenticity of the new record. This additional background information has been posted to Boone and Crockett’s Web site: www.booneandcrockettclub.com.

Schoonen said, “This background data was accumulated by Eldon Buckner, chairman of our Records of North American Big Game committee. He led the exhaustive due diligence investigation, a process our Club requires for all potential new World’s Records trophy entries. We’ve never released this kind of internal document before but I think observers will enjoy a peek behind the scenes.”

Readers will discover, for example, that Buckner confirmed at least 55 other hunters were hunting the area where the record bull was taken, that local law enforcement personnel investigated but found no evidence that the bull was pen-raised or escaped from a pen, nor any illegal conduct, and that many hunter-based conservation groups contributed to the quality of the area’s habitat.
Web site visitors can also explore the many Club policies that govern official records keeping, such as required fair-chase methods, antler drying periods and more.

Boone and Crockett Club records have long been used to measure the success of conservation and wildlife management programs in North America that have been supported by fair chase sportsmen for more than a century.

On Jan. 5, a Special Judges Panel confirmed the “spider bull,” as it has been labeled by observers for its unique antler configuration, as a new World’s Record for non-typical American elk. Its final score was 478-5/8 B&C points, more than 13 inches larger than the previous record.

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