Michigan Elk
Travis Smola

The 8-Year-Old Who Made Michigan Hunting History with an Elk Harvest

This 8-year-old is now the youngest person to ever shoot an elk in Michigan.

Michigan has a small herd of elk (only around 1,000 animals), but it is a resilient one. Every year countless hunters in the Great Lakes State apply for a limited number of permits to hunt one.

Only a few are successful in getting one. Eight-year-old Braeleigh Miller was one of them.

Fox 17 News reports she shot the 400-pound cow elk while hunting with her dad on December 14, 2019. Talk about an early Christmas present! As if shooting an elk wasn't exciting enough, it was later revealed she is the youngest person to ever shoot an elk in Michigan.

"It's cool for me because I've never set a record before," Braeleigh told the station. "My dad hasn't set a record before, and my grandpa hasn't set a record before, so I'm like to them, 'Ha ha.'"

She certainly has the bragging rights part down pat already!

Braeleigh was hunting with her father, Gunnar Miller when the hunt took place. A guide helped them locate the animals in a field the previous night. When the sun came up, Braeleigh was ready with a full-size .308 to take the shot.

"They were all still in the field when it got daylight, and we waited for legal shooting hours, and we snuck across the field and they were in a perfect position in the field," Gunnar told the station. "I mean, it couldn't have unfolded any better."

Braeleigh instantly became an overnight sensation in Michigan. Social media lit up with photos of the girl proudly posing with her elk in the field.

Michigan has three periods of elk season each year for hunters lucky enough to draw a tag in a lottery. One in the early season of August and September, the second in December and a third in January. Hunters who successfully harvest an antlerless elk must wait 10 years before they can draw another.

For hunters who draw a bull elk tag, the lifetime bag limit is a single animal, the very definition of a "once-in-a-lifetime" hunt!

Congrats to Braeleigh on her elk from all of us here at Wide Open Spaces!

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels