A bull elk harvested in 2014 by a hunter from Rush Springs was finally confirmed this month as the state record. According to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Wayne Munn is the owner of the new state record typical elk, which scored 332 and 1/8. The massive elk easily dethroned the state’s previous record holder, an animal taken by Joe Kysela in 2000. Munn harvested his elk in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge after drawing a once-in-a-lifetime controlled hunt.
“I was determined to find a bigger bull, since this hunt was my one opportunity to hunt the refuge,” Munn told state officials. “The first day came to a close with me not finding a bull I wished to harvest. Most of the bulls were what I considered to be the average six-by-six bulls common to the refuge.”
Munn said that he had to wait until the second day of his hunt before he saw an animal that fit his specifications. On December 10, the hunter had his choice of two large bulls, but fading light and warm temperatures robbed him of the opportunity. It was not until the next day that Munn got the chance to aim down his .300 Magnum rifle.
“I set up in the dark in between some boulders, where I could see the area where I hoped the bulls were. I finally spotted one of the better bulls as it was slowly making his way along a ridge opposite of me,” he recalled. “So, I set up for a shot.”
Munn fired and the elk went down almost instantly.
“Once I reached the bull, I was in complete awe at the size of the bull and its rack,” he said. “It was amazing to hunt in an area that is truly awesome to see and experience.”
As the state record elk, Munn’s animal obviously was a shoe-in for the Cy Curtis Award, which the state gives out for any deer, elk, pronghorn, or bear that qualifies with a minimum score. It was a long wait before Munn could get his elk on the books, but that is almost nothing compared to the record before his. Joe Kysela’s elk sat on a wall for fifteen years before it was crowned the state record last November.
Image courtesy Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation