Horn hunter finds world class Boone and Crockett record elk antlers.

December 16, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Sports News
A resident of Elliston, Montana and legendary elk horn hunter found his largest set of matching elk antlers this March on a windy, snow-blown hogback outside of Montana’s famous wilderness areas. He starts his search for trophy elk antlers each year in the spring, the prime time for finding antlers that have been shed by elk each year. He schedules his hunts to collect these antlers as soon as possible after they are dropped. His objective is to collect undamaged antlers in as close proximity to their original drop spot.

The competition for collecting shed elk antlers has increased over the past five years from around a dozen really dedicated horn hunters to closer to fifty individuals that scour the wintering elk range areas with fine tooth scrutiny. He uses a four wheel ATV on which he puts around two thousand miles a year to get deep into the winter elk range and then starts the real search on foot. His daily search starts around four in the morning and ends long after the sun goes down.

This horn hunter has collected thousands of antlers over the years and many of the matching sets have scored well above the minimum requirements for entry into the famous “Boone and Crockett” record book. The secret to his success is the love of the hunt! Not only is he a renowned “horn hunter” but also enjoys the hunt for the live animal as well.

The Boone and Crockett Club is responsible for records of North American big game in order to provide a comparison of trophy size and quality. In response to public interest and increased hunting by the public, the Club established an official measurement and scoring system for trophy big game in the 1920’s. The National Collection and the measurement system were initially conceived to record North American big game. The scientific community and Boone and Crockett club members recognized that the system was an effective means of tracking the success of new conservation policies. The first recognition of exceptional North American big game trophies by the Boone and Crockett Club was in the 1932 records book. It involved relatively few specimens that were listed by simple criteria of length and spread of horns, antlers or skulls. The 1932 book was followed by the 1939 records book that included informative chapters on a variety of subjects related to big game and hunting. Since 1947, there have been 24 competitions with the trophies ranked by a series of measurements defined in 1950. The ranking of trophies now occurs during a three year period, followed by the public display of the best of the trophies from each category. Presentation of Boone and Crockett Club big game medals recognizes superior trophy excellence. The highest ranked trophies in each category are invited to a “Final Awards Judging”. These trophies are measured again by a judge’s panel and are eligible for additional awards.

Early in the spring of 2005 he was looking through his Swarovski 80mm spotting scope when the bright ivory white tines of the shed antler came into view. No more than ten feet away lay the other matching side to the set. He put his spotting scope away and eagerly started down the barren ridge toward the largest set of shed antlers he has yet found in his fourteen year reign as the top horn hunter in Montana.