Oregon has a new No.2 bull elk.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says a large bull elk found dead over the summer is likely the second largest ever Rocky Mountain elk from the state. The bull, which was found in Union County's Catherine Creek Unit scores 406 6/8 inches.
That makes this pickup the closest anyone has come to the Oregon state record, a 418 2/8-inch bull shot in Crook County all the way back in 1942. According to the ODFW, this newest bull was found by a cone collecting crew working on private timberland. The bull's finders turned the massive set of 6x6 typical antlers over to the ODFW.
The 406 6/8-inch mark is the official net score, as recorded by Northwest Big Game Records scorer Mark Penninger. This is only the fourth typical Rocky Mountain bull elk to be recorded in Oregon with a net score eclipsing the magical 400-inch mark.
"Bull elk of this caliber are incredibly rare in Oregon but it's great to see they are still around," Penninger said in a ODFW press release. "This bull is a testament that age, good genetics, and high-quality habitat can produce truly world class elk."
ODFW still needs to submit the score for official placement in the book, but it seems clear this new bull is going to easily beat out the bull currently in second place, a 401 1/8-incher from Grant County. That bull's antlers were later lost in a fire.
It's been an extremely long time since Oregon produced a typical bull over 400 inches. The last one, a 400-incher from Crook County, was taken in Crook County back in 1984.
The ODFW is taking advantage of this story to remind hunters it is not legal to possess big game animals like this that have been found dead. This record bull will stay in the possession of the ODFW, who plan to have the antlers mounted and placed on display in one of their offices. It's unfortunate this big boy didn't meet up with a lucky hunter somewhere, but we're betting this area will see a lot more hunters next year seeking his genetics!
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