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B&C World's Record - Tule Elk

World's Record Tule Elk

The World's Record tule elk was found on a ranch in California in 2005.

Written by Jeff Lopeteguy

We live on a ranch in northern California's Mendocino National Forest, between the small communities of Elk Creek and Stonyford. This portion of the ranch has been in the family since 1964 when my in-laws, Don (a former San Francisco Forty-Niner football player) and Nan Garlin, purchased their cattle ranch.


A strong population of tule elk frequent this area of California. The bull elk from this herd roam and graze through the mountains and ranges near and around our home, many times stopping within a few yards of our back door. For years, we have enjoyed watching these “giant fellas” rest, graze, and roam freely on our property.

In October 2005, one of the larger bulls was discovered dead near our home. The California Department of Fish and Game took the bull to their facilities in an attempt to determine why it died. No determination could be made, and in October 2006 the remains of the elk were returned to us. We were told by the Fish & Game officer that this bull was approximately six-to seven years old, and that it was possibly the second largest ever recorded.

We were thrilled at the prospect that one of our "local boys” could be of record size. I coached football at Elk Creek High School for nine seasons. With only around 25 to 40 students (boys and girls), Elk Creek High School is one of the smallest schools in California to compete in football. We thought how wonderful it might be to have a record-size elk displayed in our gym, the home of the Elk Creek Elks.

We learned later that the bull was not the second-largest tule elk ever recorded. It was, in fact, the new World’s Record! 


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-Theodore Roosevelt