Big ditto from me about dubious 'record' elk

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
trophy hunting.

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
Web site.

"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
hunting hard."

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.


Hunter A - hunts a couple days a year and stumbles on the state record- boom. Tag it.

Hunter B- works at his sport of hunting all year long and on opening day stalks his trophy for 6 hours. Boom. Tag it. State record.

Hunter C- $200,000 a few guides and he pulls the trigger for a state record.

Hunter D- enters a state raffle of $25 for a chance to do a trophy hunt for a regular Joe Six-Pack.

So what about Hunter A & D? A little bit of luck,,,

It's not always the biggest bank account.


And a bank account is relative when you starting pining about "he got a bigger bull than mine".

So a fellow who has enough money and can afford vacation to go scouting for weeks before opening day, has a bigger bank account.

A fellow with an ATV has more money than the hiking fellow.

A fellow with pack horses and mules has TONS more money than the ATV bum.

A fellow with a Weatherby and the sweetest scope has a bigger bank account than a poor boy settling on a Remington 700 $499 special from Garts.

Moral of the story--
Get a big bank account so you can find out if it makes a difference. Plus you get the pretty girls and the shiney trucks. :-)