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ELK, How Big is BIG to you?

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ELK, How Big is BIG to you?

Old 01-10-2005, 08:33 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Tacoma WA USA
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Default RE: ELK, How Big is BIG to you?

They're all big; especially when I have to pack 'em by myself!
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Old 01-10-2005, 01:40 PM
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Default RE: ELK, How Big is BIG to you?

I personally call anthing over 300 big, that's a pretty hefty standard on most public land here in MT. My record is a 262 archery-killed 6 by 6. I typically hold out for 300+ bulls until about the middle of bow season, then switch over to meat hunting. Gotta have that good elk meat in the freezer!
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Old 01-10-2005, 02:37 PM
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Default RE: ELK, How Big is BIG to you?


Where I deer hunt it is a limited entry elk unit. I think it a bad day when I don't see atleast a 380" bull and a good-average day with a +400". Granted, I will not draw out on this elk tag until I am dead, but those are BIG bulls.

You're from Utah I'm guessing and while you are on the right track my guess is if you put these bulls that you're talking about on the ground and laid tape to em you'll probably find they aren't quite as big as you think they are. I am a very frequent visitor to the "best" limited entry units in Utah and I haven't had quite that much success seeing bulls that big as often as you describe. There are certainly 380 to 400 class bulls in these units but they aren't quite an everyday site. I would say take off about 20-30 inches off of your estimates and that's probably what you're seeing. But then again maybe you've got a honey hole that yields better than normal results. Estimates are always tricky when the animal is on the hoof. If I were you I'd try and get video of them and have an expert look at it just to see how your estimating skills are. Who knows maybe you're right on. I've been off on my estimates too and it's an art to accurately judge an animals size on the hoof.

To answer the question I don't really get major jaw droppage until about 380. I've seen smaller but nice bulls quite often. Notice I said seen, never had the chance to kill one that big as drawing a tag is a very tough thing to do around here.
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Old 01-10-2005, 04:34 PM
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Default RE: ELK, How Big is BIG to you?

How big is big,it's like beauty is in the eye's of the beholder.
Now that been said anyone who shoots a 340-350 bull should be happy as heck.I have seen some big bulls hear in Montana down on the river during archery season,but as luck has it the y never get closer than 80 yds.I've also watched them down at SLippery Ann on the Missouri,now that a sight I think all elk hunters should see 2-400 head of elk in the rut not 100 yds off the road(Fun for the whole family).

Now this year I saw the biggest bull I have ever seen,with a rifle in my hands.I was hunting with HillBillyhunter and we had split up,I was looking for deer and he was looking for elk.I bumped into a 7x7.He was not 50 yds laying down,when he stood up,I new right then and there I was looking at a 380-385+ animal.He was by far the biggest elk I have ever laid eyes on in the wild.
He was big enough to make me run and find Chad who had the tag[].I wish we could have found him again,but they don't get that big for noth'in.
Now to answer the question I think a 340+ bull should make about anyone happy.Now if you think that is under you to shoot one that scores 300+ then maybe you should stop hunting elk cause some ppl never see a bull that big.My biggest is a 5x5 bull that maybe scores 220-230,that don't mean I don't try for bigger or lesser.I shot a spike this year,5x5 year befor and cows the 2 years prior.
So shoot what makes you happy.
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Old 01-10-2005, 04:45 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: WV
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Default RE: ELK, How Big is BIG to you?

I don't remember you runnin'. MY recollection was that I found you sleeping next to a tree with your pants down around your knees (grin)----next year buddy--no, now its THIS YEAR...yeah.
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Old 01-10-2005, 09:08 PM
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Location: Back in good ole mormonville...
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Default RE: ELK, How Big is BIG to you?

I would say take off about 20-30 inches off of your estimates
No problems with your statement, but I would like to let you know that in all my field judging which resulted in an animal on the ground I am usually 5" short of the real score. Also I have been within 1" of every competition where you score the mount. I can see where you would say that, but my track record is much better than that. What units do you watch? I spend a huge amount of time on the manti-laSalles and the Anthro Range creek, way back in the boonies.
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Old 01-11-2005, 11:44 AM
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Default RE: ELK, How Big is BIG to you?

Judyboi, If your judging skills are as good as they say you are then you are in elk heaven. Any spot where you can see a 400 inch bull everyday and 380 is run of the mill is one hell of an elkin spot. I'd protect the whereabouts of your areas with your life. The only time I've seen this happen is on private property where the elk go as a sanctuary. This happens up on some mining property up by Diamond mountain but I've never seen that happen on public ground even in the limited entry units.

Every year I spend lots of time up on the Diamond Mountain unit. I usually make at leat one trip on the Book Cliffs a year, the unit up above Boulder at least once a year. The Piaute trail takes me up on Monroe, saw some beautiful bulls this past summer up there. Piaute also takes me up above Beaver but not a lot of big bulls that way, lots of elk though. Got in a stare down with a Blackie this past summer up there. The trail also takes me up above Fillmore and there are some awesome bulls up there. I did some archery deer hunting down in the Manti's up above Fairview this year and about got ran over by a herd of 40 elk or so while sneaking through the aspen. I saw a 370-380 class bull while there but that was the only real big boy I saw down there. I went down to the Paunsaugunt for the first time late last fall and again got into some nice bulls down there. I've got family in Price so I spend some time looking around Range Creek and 9 mile, when I was a kid we'd hunt up Indian Canyon all the time but it's just not what it used to be. But where I really spend a lot of time is on Diamond Mountain and my favorite elk spot is....drum roll...... on San Juan Elk Ridge. I've seen elk in those hills that scare the hell out of ya and you see them everywhere. The San Juan unit is closest I've ever seen to the elk utopia that you describe. Where are you from?
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Old 01-11-2005, 06:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Arlington Washington USA
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Default RE: ELK, How Big is BIG to you?

Any Elk I'm fortunate to get is big!
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:40 PM
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Location: Beautiful Big Sky Montana
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I condider myself a big game hunter so i try not to shoot anything to small so they will grow to be a big bull for someone else. I consider a 5 or 6 point bull big enough to shoot. But a big bull would be a six point (most of the ones that are symmetrical and have a decent spread will make you crap your pants to see in your crosshairs) and they usually score 290"-310". Mass(or antler thickness), length of points, and spread will effect the score by making it bigger, but its hard to field judge them unless you sit and study pictures for a while and get out and see them all the time. ANY 6-POINT BULL IS A GREAT FEAT TO HARVEST, and almost every hunter will look up to someone who shoots a bull with the age and health to grow that 6th point...especially if it makes it over the 300" mark. The biggest bull i have ever seen in the wild was bow hunting last year, i would have guessed it to score about 360-380 and i have never seen another bull like it...too bad my bow wouldnt shoot 100 yards!

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Old 12-08-2010, 10:49 PM
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I think a trophy begins at 300"

350" is probably the start of a monster...
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