One of the unique things about keeping a record book for all the biggest trophies in history is that it connects hunters’ stories from all generations. It’s no different when you sit down to open the Boone & Crockett world record book for trophy elk, which has giants from last year and last century, side by side.
It really does connect you to a different era, when Colorado miners like John Plute never thought about keeping elk antlers to hang on a wall, much less have them officially scored. It’s a good thing he went back to get the rack in 1899, since it would end up being the No. 1 typical bull elk in the world for a half-century. One can only imagine how many other world records are buried in someone’s basement or barn.
It also reminds us how things have changed, as was the case with the reigning No. 1 bull of all time, killed by Denny Austad in 2008. Austad paid $170,000 for an auctioned tag in Utah, had access to any season he wanted and hired a team of guides to track the now infamous “Spyder Bull.” It wasn’t popular with everyone in the hunting community, but it sure makes for one heck of a story.
What makes elk hunting so great are the stories we walk away with after the hunt is over. And what makes record books so great is that they capture these stories for centuries to come, often reminding us of our rich hunting heritage. So with a toast to the last 125 years of elk hunting, and a little help from our friends at B&C, we proudly bring you the 20 biggest elk of all time.
- New Mexico hunter Lawrence “Boss” Sanchez was knocking down big bull elk in the 1960s way before it was the cool thing to do. He killed this 434 3/8 B&C trophy with a 250-yard shot, earning him a spot at No. 20 on our list. One shot was all it took to down this impressive bull, which was taken in Colfax Co., N.M., in 1962.