I ran a story last month about a Washington man who paid big bucks to bag the likely state record bull elk for Washington.
Now it appears an Idaho man has done the same for a potential world record elk.
Rich Landers of The Spokesman Review sent over this story:
The pending world record elk, shot in Utah in September, is raising
eyebrows for its huge size as well as concerns for the direction of
Known as the "spider bull," the elk taken in Utah's Monroe Mountain unit
- one of the state's most coveted trophy units - had a green score of
just over 500 points of antler mass on the Boone and Crockett scale.
The bull was killed by Ammon, Idaho, hunter Denny Austad, who invested
nearly $170,000 in a Utah Governor's tag, which allows the holder to
hunt with any weapon in any open unit in the state.
A Washington state record bull elk was taken in the Blue Mountains in
September by a hunter who paid $65,000 for the Governor's tag. States
auction these special tags in fundraisers for elk management.
"The Spider Bull represents a troubling trend," said Andrew McKean,
hunting editor for Outdoor Life magazine.
Wildlife is becoming commercialized in high-bid auctions and programs
that give landowners and outfitters rights to sell tags for hunting
trophies on their property, McKean said in his blog on the magazine's
"Austad had the help of a profit-minded outfitter and a heap of
payrolled guides," he said, suggesting that the record books should make
these distinctions. "I will argue until I die that his achievement is
less remarkable than a do-it-yourself hunter who invests a season
I couldn't agree more that paying those ridiculous sums of money for a tag and then hiring a bunch of guides to go track an animal down is at best a perversion of the spirit of the hunt.
I don't think it's a coincidence that the guys who killed these bulls could also write giant checks. It's sad when the biggest bulls and bucks go to the guys with the biggest bank accounts, not the most skilled and dedicated hunters.
See the Utah bull and read more about it here.
See the Washington bull here.