Behemoth Bull Elk Caught in Pennsylvania
In 2020, a man from Washington had a mission to find the LARGEST one he could. So he traveled to see a behemoth bull elk to be caught in Pennsylvania.
The Average Elk
Did you know the largest species in the deer family, the Cervidae family, is the Elk (Cervus canadensis)?
The original name of the animal was not elk. When Europeans named North American animals, the words were not strictly correct for the species. The elk is an excellent example of this. In Europe, the British call their moose elk. Yet, they used the word elk when naming the North American Deer. Before Europe named this species in the 19th Century, Canadians had already named it Wapiti. The name they gave it translated into the word “white” due to their whitetails. Adult male elks are often called bulls, while their female counterparts are called cows. It’s confusing but not wholly incorrect, considering their size.
Generally, the basic elk is pretty significant in itself. Measured in height to their shoulders. We also take a look at their weight. The United States Department of Forest Services lists the measurements of elk as follows.
Looking at this chart, the male elk is as tall as the average person, weighing almost 3 times as much!
|Gender||Height at Shoulder||Weight|
|Male||5 ft.||700-1100 lbs.|
|Female||4.5 ft||500-600 lbs.|
Because of their size, the average elk eats around 3 lbs. of food per 100 lbs of elk. So, a 700-pound elk would eat 21 pounds of food a day!
I googled what else weighs 21 pounds to give myself a better depiction of what they eat. What I found was pretty astonishing. Other things that weigh the same amount as the daily limit of food consumption for a 700-pound elk are the following:
- shopping cart
- car tire
- patio table
- and my house cat (this one I threw in)
Some Elk Expertise
Only bull elks have antlers, and they are beneficial during mating season. Having antlers helps their cow elk counterparts choose them during this time. Bugling is the mating call elks are known to make during this time.
Variety does not even begin to explain what an elk needs to live. Their habitat consists of many different forms. This is why they are found in several other parts of the world. United States Department of Forest Services states,
“Elk can live in a variety of habitats, including forests, meadows, and mountains. Their diet includes grasses, tree leaves, twigs, and shrubs. Bark, pine needles, and tree lichens are also eaten in smaller quantities.”
Another great place to find information about elk and what they consume is What Do Elks Eat? Foods Elk Consume. This talks more indepth of their food and what it is they truly like to munch on.
The Sport of the Bull Elk Hunt
If you live in one of these areas where elk are found in larger quantities, then you are probably very familiar with the sport of elk hunting. Their meat has many health benefits. It is known to be full of nutrients. Not to mention, the animal is a large one, so tagging one provides you with a great meat source.
Several states, such as Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, and Utah, offer elk hunting with the proper license.
Armstrong Man, Strong-Armed a Big One
Behemoth Bull Elk Caught in Pennsylvania … Catching an elk is challenging. Bull male elk prefer to travel early in the morning when it is still dark out, which makes it hard for trackers to spot them. They also save their singing, also known as bugling, for the night. This makes spotting one harder than you would think. Catching one is a great reward — not to mention if it is a big one.
This is just what Duane Kramer did. In 2020, after some heavy research on Pennyslvania and their hunting expeditions. Kramer learned that Pennsylvania was a great place to find giant bull elks.
Although he had been applying for years, he became interested in gaining a spot on the Keystone Elk Country Alliance after his newfound research.
Patience and Perseverance Paid Off
He got the spot! In September 2020, he found himself flying to Pennsylvania in an attempt to land an enormous elk. Unfortunately, this did not happen. Kramer returned to Washington no closer to his dream than when he left.
Even worse, pneumonia struck, causing Kramer to put his dreams on hold, but only briefly. A dreamer never truly quits dreaming. In October, his health regained, and he returned to Pennsylvania. Once again, with the same notion that he would tag himself the most enormous bull elk.
When the Beast Bugles
As if fate lingered in his shadows, he had encountered this large creature several times. Never being close enough or at the right angle, he was patient again. After days of following, he heard the sound he had been waiting for. That indistinctive call — the bugling. It was as if it was finally ready to surrender. On October 21st, 2020, a bull elk called out into a Pennsylvanian forest one last time. Duane Kramer of Washington became the hunter who tagged the most enormous bull elk in history! 455 pounds of fame, found whispered amongst the lips of hunter aficionados worldwide.
They were landing on the 6th largest bull elk worldwide and making the list as the largest caught in PA!
Other Bidders of the Bull Elk Species
Speaking of enthusiasts, others also share the love of the sport. Different people have gone above and beyond to catch the greatest bull elk.
Denny Austad paid six figures for a Governor’s Tag to go to Utah. It was while he was there that he tagged the Spider Bull. Austad used a tracker to help him keep track of the animal. After a two-week stint of tracking the bull, he attempted to tag it. Yet, this failed. Even worse, he ended up getting sick from the conditions his trailer was in. After a short recovery break, Austad was back at it, eventually tagging the animal at 500 inches- hitting the world record for 2008.
Nick Franklin, a man from Arizona, knew his state had a significant population of large elk, and he wanted in. So, in 2003, he bought a tag for their season. It was not just the large elk population he was after. Franklin had his eyes set on a specific one and was dubbed by other enthusiasts as the Granpa Bull. This was an 8-year-old bull. It took a mere 6 days, but he had done it. Nick Franklin had tagged the most giant bull in Arizona history at approximately 453 inches. The craziest part of this story is he did it all with a bow and arrow. ESPN has a great article referencing this catch.
Earliest Bull Elk Enthusiast
A man named Alonzo Winters was out hunting in Arizona in 1968. He came across a large bull elk that he ended up taking. Super excited about his find, he came home and hung the antlers on his wall, not after telling everyone he knew of his great catch! Those antlers sat on his garage wall for over 25 years until his passing. In the last moments of his life, Winters had gifted the antlers to his sister, who then took them on a road trip a year later, placing them in the back of her pickup truck.
Whilst traveling along, these antlers caught the eye of a stranger driving down the road next to Winters’s sister. Alan Ellsworth was this stranger. Coincidentally, he was also a collector of antlers. He, in turn, flagged down Winters’ sister and offered a price for the HUGE rack in the bed of her truck, which she accepted. Shortly after, it became the most enormous bull elk recorded in history. He was coming in at almost 443 inches, taken by bow and arrow.