The largest elk ever recorded in Pennsylvania, a bull taken by a lucky hunter in 2011, has been confirmed as the new state record. The official declaration was made today by the Boone and Crockett Club.
An official measurer determined a final score of 442-6/8 B&C non-typical points, which ranks 9th among all non-typical elk in Boone and Crockett records.
The bull has nine points on the right antler and eight on the left. The antlers tally 190-3/8 on the right and 188-1/8 on the left, with 47-7/8 inside spread and 29-7/8 in abnormal points. The antlers are unusually wide—an impressive 69 inches at their widest point.
The Boone and Crockett scoring system is based on antler size and symmetry, and accepts only trophies taken in fair chase.
Since the early 1900s, the Boone and Crockett scoring system has been used to measure the success of wildlife conservation and management programs across North America.
Elk are native to Pennsylvania but had been extirpated by the late 1870s. Hunters and game commissioners in 1912 began discussing the idea of re-introducing the species. The following year, a shipment of 50 elk arrived by train from Yellowstone National Park. Half were released in Clinton County, half in Clearfield County. It was the beginning of a long elk restoration and habitat conservation effort that by the late 1990s would begin to generate significant tourism, wildlife watching and, of course, hunting opportunities.
Today there are 10 Pennsylvania bulls recognized in Boone and Crockett records. Seven are non-typical elk with a minimum score of 385; three are typical elk with a minimum score of 360. All have been taken since 2003.
The new Pennsylvania record holder, William Zee of Doylestown, Pa., was hunting in Clearfield County, Pa.
“Congratulations to Mr. Zee, and especially to the Pennsylvania Game Commission for its work building one of America’s most up-and-coming elk herds,” said Eldon Buckner, chairman of the Club’s Records of North American Big Game committee.
The previous Pennsylvania state record for non-typical American elk was a bull scoring 441-6/8 taken in 2006 in Clinton County by hunter John Shirk.
Since the Zee bull is a Top 10 entry, its score will be panel-verified during the Boone and Crockett Club’s triennial awards program in Reno, Nev., next year.