Contributors to this thread:
I WOULD LIKE TO SEE PICTURES OF 200-300 INCH ELK.I WAS TOLD IN NORTHERN COLORADO THAT IS A AVERAGE ELK.
You're asking about quite a range. A raggy little 4 or 5 pt may go 200", while a 300" bull is normally going to be at least a 6 pt with decent length and mass. Kinda like the difference between a miniature poodle and a german shepard. ;-)
This bull is a bit over 275 gross and 266 5/8 net. "Average" will vary with different areas, but if they are anything like those in southern Wyoming, the average is going to be closer to 240-250 than 300. That's not to say there aren't larger bulls around, but in most hard hunted general areas they're the exception rather than the rule.
I've hunted OR, WY, NM, and UT and that's a good "representative" bull of all those states right there.
Just google 350"-375" bulls and you should find a bunch that fit your criteria.
This small 6 is fairly large for the area we hunt in NW CO. WE call them ranch bulls - haven't measured it but it might make 180.
Both of these elk grossed in the 280ish range (one maybe a little under, the other about right on)...
Here is an OTC CO bull that goes about 235" gross. I bet that bull GregE put up is over 200"
Here's another that goes about 265" gross. The back left looks big but the 2nds are small and the back right dies. Like stated 200 is "small" and 300 is "big". What are you looking for?
For 99% of us those are all trophy elk and most likely the largest for the area. Most likely the area's herd bull. With few exceptions on open public land thats the truth, hunting private ranch land or very limited draw areas is a totally different ballgame. Most elk killed are young animals in the open hunting areas with allot of licences. If you haven't hunted elk much you can be overly optimistic going by the magazines! However elk hunting still is some of the best to be had especially with the bow, after all its all about the hunt anyway!
"If you haven't hunted elk much you can be overly optimistic going by the magazines!"
Very very true!
I always shake my head and bite my tongue when I hear a first time Elk hunter decry about 300 bulls. (go slide 300 inches out of a tape measure and look at it) I always ask how many 180 class deer they have shot. There are 10's of millions more of those and a greater odds of a 180class animal, than a 300 bull!
ANY animal harvested with a bow is a trophy!!
This one netted right at 240. For our heavily-hunted OTC area in N. Central CO, he's a representative bull. Every year we'll have a few around that are honestly over 300, occasionally a really good one, but 240-280 is the typical range for decent herd bulls.
This guy grossed 264 and netted high 240's. NW CO DIY hunt. Best bull our group has ever taken in 10+ trips. Nice 5x5's (220 range) are common but this was the first 6x6.
This is sons 1st. bowkill. Net 266". 5 point herd bull with 5 cows.
I don't care if it's a Spike, they ALL make my knees shake & the meat is some of the best a person can have. Enjoy the hunt & don't worry about getting the biggesat in the woods..
Good thread. I have never hunted elk and moved to UT last year. I put in for elk points in a few states and am trying to decide if it is worth it as I know I will never kill a 300"+ bull like everyone is always after nor do I want to wait 10+ years for a tag. Seeing what a "smaller" bull looks like actually gets my hopes up. I would be happy with any of these bulls with a bow or gun and can draw average units with much less points that the trophy areas that people wait for hoping for that monster. Guess its time to add AZ to the list.
Here is a 225" P&Y scored Tule Elk 6x6....bowhunting elk in open fields is really wierd !!
Mule Power and Elkman......I am pretty sure that ahunters critter is a Red Deer also.......but his comments are SPOT on, as a re those of many others......too many think a 300" bull is comomnplace.......far from it, even in good areas. A bull with ANY weakness is lucky to make 260.....and is a fine critter. Nice pics Tracy.......thanks all for sharing.
Here's a public land, otc monster (320 gross, 310 net). My huntn partners bull, Like the others have said, it is not likely that you'll see one like this on an otc hunt, but he's a good reference for an otc OIL bull!
And here is a dream bull from point blank! No shot opp. Practice calming your nerves! If whitetails jack you up, this will give you a heart attack!
Here's a 285" gross 6 x 6 from last year. As others have said - a big, big difference between a 200 and 300. Someone mentioned earlier about a 300 equating to a 180 whitetail - I've bowhunted elk 3 times and seen bulls that are 300+ (killed a 300 and the 285 and whiffed on a beauty) all 3 times but have only seen one 180 class whitetail in almost 30 years of chasing them! I would equate a 300" to a 150 whitetail at best.
Extremely short 3rd's hurt this one.
This one might be under 200"
MTC- Are you whacking and stacking all those bulls with your MQ1?
Lee, he didn't say a 180 whitetail, he said "deer". Since he is from a non-whitetail state (NM), I'm guessing he meant mule deer. I would still agree that it's a lot easier to find a 300 inch bull than a 180 buck of any kind, especially in a state like New Mexico.
In Arizona, it would be very rare to see a heard bull that didn't score close to 300, and in most units considerably more. 300 bulls are pretty common in the southwestern states, 180 inch bucks aren't common anywhere.
I agree with stickflicker
I've never killed a bull, mainly because I haven't been drawn in a while. I however have seen quite a few bulls over 300 and a few around 350 while in the field here in NM. I've also seen a couple in the back of trucks around 380, one on the mescalero Apache reservation and one about 10 miles away in unit 36.
The biggest bucks I've seen are around 170. The only 180 class or bigger bucks I've seen are on wall of sporting good stores or bars.
Stickflicker - you are probably right - being from a whitetail state I immediately read whitetail!! Regardless a 180 mulie is pretty dang big as well.
Yes 8 bulls with the MQ1 and hopefully number 9 this year :^)
GregE love the color on that bull.
I would say an easy way to compare different species is looking at P&Y and B&C scores:
So look at P&Y:
260 AM Elk = 145 Mule Deer = 125 Whitetail Deer
360 AM Elk = 180 Mule Deer = 160 Whitetail Deer
you can extrapolate from there that a 300 bull would be like a 160 muley or a 140 wt buck.
Never had it scored but was told it would be in the 300ish
MtC - That's awesome man. I have retired my MQ1, but will never sell it. Best pure compound bow ever made! Good luck on No. 9 this year!
In Colorado a 300 bull is every bit the trophy that a 180 buck is.
In 2010 I brought my 183 buck to the butcher and the lady checking me in didn't look at it twice, even when my buddy mentioned what a big buck it was. Two weeks later I showed up with a 307 bull and she went on and on about what a giant bull it was.
Here is a 310" bull from CO
Seems I pushed a button and got you guys thinking.
the point I was trying to get to is that there are millions of deer (plural WT and MD) Heck some states have over a million in them alone. And yes, for WT 150 would be a better benchmark.
In NM it is estimated that there are only 70-80K elk.
Therefore it is statistically more probable that a hunter find and harvest a large deer than a large elk, yet many do not: although they think there are 300 class bulls in every forest. And there simply are not.
You know you want to...Look!
And here is a 204" gross, 186" net whitetail. At the time it was number 2 w/ a bow in ohio. So yeah, there is a big difference between a 300" elk and a 180" deer.
Nice, but it is the Elk Thread!
What's minimum to get P&Y
We never put a tape on this guy, but he is one of the biggest bulls we have killed over the years in NW Colorado.
He had a HUGE head and body, so it made the antlers appear "average" on the hoof.
I decoyed him in for my buddy, and when we found him, I couldn't believe it was the same bull.
Best of Luck, Jeff
Our group of hunters have been at this game since 1980, and the best scoring elk that we have gotten in a CO OTC area was 285 and change net. Three of us have drawn the unit 2 NR CO tag, and My elk is best at 308 and change. Here is a pic of that bull.
"Nice, but it is the Elk Thread!"
Ike, read much? Probably not when there are pictures to look at. You'd probably be more distracted if they were pop-ups. There was a comparison of 180" deer to 300" elk.
I would highly doubt that anyone would call a bull pushing 300 to be average. The true average is much smaller. Can a person find a bull in the 260s and up? Yes, but would I consider it average? Not at all! A little piss cutter 4 or 5 is the average. That being said if your lucky you can find something better. The Colorado model basically means that the average bull harvested is a 3 to 4 year old bull. Most bulls that young just do not get over the 250 mark. There maybe area like the RFW that will have a slightly older age class bull but if you watch the shows, even those places are taking a fair share of 3-4 yr old bulls.
In the last 10 years we have taken 14 bulls and of those 2 have broke 300" and 3 broke 260 and the rest did not break 200 (or at least were not big enough to measure and get a close number). That all seasons and all methods of take!!!
So for mee a 200-300 bull is not average at all, but more like the top of what I would expect to harvest.
"Ike, read much? Probably not when there are pictures to look at. You'd probably be more distracted if they were pop-ups. There was a comparison of 180" deer to 300" elk."
No, actually I'm just here for pictures of Elk, not some 'tool' in the back of the truck! Thanks though! Great bulls guys!
In the OTC elk units I hunt, there will usually be a couple bulls running around the area that are an honest 300". Maybe one or two the next size up. Occasionally a very big one, but rarely. Most herd bulls are in the 250-280 range, 3-4 years old.
In the muley unit I hunt, there will usually be one or two honest 180" bucks, maybe one or two the next size up, and occasionally a real whopper.
So from my personal perspective, the opportunity at a 300" bull compares favorably with a 180" muley. Which is what the poster mentioned, not whitetails.
Now in the elk unit I drew this year, a 300" bull won't even get a second glance. It's all about perspective and opportunity.
Forgot to mention, per the OPs first post, my reference is from N. Central CO, OTC units.
And per Bill in MI's post, there are a whole lot of photos floating around of supposed "300+ inch" bulls that are really 260-270.
Dadgum it... now all them 300" bulls that I saw (according to Lou) were really 250" bulls. Damn it! Truth be known... he's probably right. :)
"Dadgum it... now all them 300" bulls that I saw (according to Lou) were really 250" bulls. Damn it! Truth be known... he's probably right. :)"
I know he is...And that's just it for me! I'd shoot pretty much every Bull on here and not think twice about it...
Ike just reserected an old thread to look at bulls to know what to pass on! With that UT tag you need to be looking at the big boys.
Be careful looking at photos...like usually in threads like these...I see some "280-290" bulls that are more like 240-250...maybe...
A true-blue 300" bull is pretty darn solid. Lots and lots and lots "300" bulls that are more like 260-270...
This one is about 260 +/- a few.
I'd have to agree with a couple of the others' comments.
There are some bulls even on this thread that the owners need to either check their measuring tape or their addition skills - this OTC CO 5x5 measured 246".
Another OTC CO bull - 230"
Definitely a difference between an actual measured 300" bull and an "Outfitter 300 bull".
I got cross-threaded with the outfitter I guided for when he was telling our hunters that raghorns were "big bulls" to make them feel good, because their antler perspective was set around Texas whitetails.
Lou, anyway to tell by a Bulls fronts, what you're looking at? Or maybe what the potential of a Bull might be score wise...
Ike, you really have to look at the overall frame. An inch here and there can result in a 20" swing either way. I've taped a lot of bulls and there's not really any hard-fast rule for what makes up the score.
The bull in this photo? Looks great, right? (except for the resolution - my partner took the pic with a phone, I think) Well I killed him in this exact spot the next day and he grossed 304, netted 289. He has a great shape but his fronts are relatively short, as are his main beams.
Plenty big enough for our OTC unit, but might fool someone who hasn't seen a lot of bulls.
From a different angle. 99% of guys hunting in an OTC unit would say OMG! and go tell their buddies they just saw a 330 bull.
310 6/8 net P&Y - Pecos Wilderness, 2000. I never pass a chance to show him off!
As you should Hunter, great Bull...
Thanks Lou, I'm screwed...lol. I'll shoot a Bull like that all day long!
I notice Bigdan hasn't posted..... but I can see him shaking his head from clear over here..... the better part of valor and all... LOL!
I took a "class" from him once. Very informative as to scoring. I learned I could get near spot on if I took what I THOUGHT it would score and subtracted around 20" to 30" or so before I opened my mouth. I was on nearly every time then.
He showed me some sheds he'd just found you couldn't put your hand around clear out to the last branch. I thought he was a pure stud 300" bull, easy. I was informed he would be hard pressed to make P&Y, would fall short depending on the deductions. He was right. The mass didn't count for nearly as much as I thought it might just looking at it. Width many times is less than a person thinks it should score as well. You can only score up to the equal of the longest beam if I recall.
Lou, I hear the 3rds are the ones that let most folks down.....
And BTW, I'd let the air out of pretty much any of the bulls in this thread in an OTC unit.
Officially scored at 252 7/8. Central CO herd bull.
Another one from the same area. 297 2/8. These are the two largest bulls any of our group has taken in over 30 years of hunting this area.
291 4/8 taken in NW Colorado.
And for comparison a 328 6/8 bull (weak thirds) from the same area as the last photo.
Great bulls. Now post up your GPS coordinates! LOL!
OTC Will, is that a picture of the bull alive??
Here is a 4x4 (likely in the 100's), a 6x6 (290ish +- a couple), and another 6x6 (335 and change net score). All Arizona bulls.
First the little guy. My first and only elk kill. However I did draw an archery bull tag this September, so I hope to change that. Sorry for the rifle in the picture, but because of this hunt I made the decision to start bow hunting. I felt like I cheated when I shot this bull at 400 yards. I made the decision then to put in for archery bull from then on. I didn't know it would happen the very next year. Lol. I guess it's one of those Karma kinda deals(It's a long story, but it ends with us helping a 12 year old boy kill, gut, and pack out his first elk ever. He was with his father, and gradnfather, and they didn't have a clue. Just decided to put in one year). Anyways here is a picture of my 4x4.
And my other buddies 335 bull.
Here's another typical bull from our usual unit. If I remember right, I taped it at about 236.
I measured this one right at 240. Central Colorado he had several cows with him when I shot him.
236 ZEIK? THAT LAST 5X6 BULL LOOKS BIGGER THEN THAT. YOU MUST BE A FISHERMAN AND ONLY USE "NETS"
Well, all my scores would be FINAL scores. Gross scores are for inflating egos! ;-)
Here is a bull that scores 310. Weak fifths! This bull had a big body.
I've gotten lucky and killed a few bulls over 300" but can't find and kill a big deer. Still looking for that 180" mark deer.
In my opinion a bull that goes 300" is a great bull for Colorado.
I didn't realise how respectable a 225 inch bull is until this thread. I can honestly see me shooting one and mistaking it for a 350. I can also see myself not passing a 150.
My 2013 275" bull - OTC with typical Colorado weak 3rds
Plenty in this range in western Colorado. 250 roughly
Here is my first Elk ever. I took him on the very first day I ever went Elk hunting and shot him at 28 yrds. Scored 320 dried...now I just need to get him in the books for that year!
My first bull. 200" NM 6x6
Please God my fortune is as good as IDMooseKnuckles was, when I have my first day's bowhunting for bull elk
Thanks Barty. It was an OTC hunt too! I haven't got one since but we were so close last year it was silly.
Here is a 348 bull (rifle)
So is it a genetic thing with CO bulls have shorter trez points/thirds?
Now I can see I've been misjudging bulls on the hoof.What I was sure would be a 300 in Wy. a couple years back was probably more likely 270-280.Still a giant for southern Wy. hard hunted public.I'd say most of the bulls I've seen hunting in Co otc units would not go over 240.This thread was great for me to see how to score better
For some reason I find this thread amazingly refreshing. Great bulls guys!
Holding out for a 350 bull is going to be tough. I just got to hold on to the fact that that's the equivellent of a 10 inch beard with 1 1/4 inch spurs.
The red deer looking one has what looks like a high fence behind it. If you chose one of those hunts they can tranquilize it for you and get an accurate measurement before you shoot it.
Here is my bow kill bone pile minus 6 racks I gave to my mom in Texas. They go from around that 160 - 300 range.
Wow...that is a great selection of antlers BlisteredHooves...I'm sure each one has it's own tale to tell
You can't compare 350 bull to a friggin turkey!
10 in beard and 1 1/4 spurs is about 1 out of every 4 toms where I live. I wish 1 of 4 bulls would go 350. You better be going to a prime Arizona unit to find those odds TBM.
Funny thing about scores on animals is it's like talking about your weight. What you say it is and what the scale reveals may be two very different things.
I'm fifteen and a half stone...217 lbs...and shrinking
Yeah, a 10" beard is pretty common in Wisconsin too. I just shot one a couple weeks ago and not that big of a deal...
Absolutely no comparison to a 350-360 class bull in any way shape or form!
Don't let him get to you Mike, he's like the gift that keeps on giving! Or the White Elephant that no one wants!
Hell of a bull! Enough of the Turkey crap! lol
From TBM "I didn't realise how respectable a 225 inch bull is until this thread. I can honestly see me shooting one and mistaking it for a 350. I can also see myself not passing a 150."
Most spot on comment ever heard from him. I'm going to NM in Sept. for the third time looking for my first elk. Hardened antlers is my goal.
Just to put it into perspective. I would guess at least 90% of the bulls you see shot in Primos videos are under 300".
ANY bull [or cow for that matter] with a bow is a trophy...talk to me when I've killed my first elk and I'll tell you what's next on my plan
I will be happy with any legal bull. Less than 100 days.
Go to Monstermuleys and type in " 350 class bulls". Plenty of 200-300 inch bulls on those threads!
Steve, I assume that you are new to elk hunting and just want to add that if that be the case, don't turn down that big old fat cow. 90% of the bulls in NW Colorado are just raghorns, four or five point two or three year olds. Hunting pressure is so great in that area that most die before they ever reach the age to grow trophy antlers.
That wise old cow is just as good a trophy and will eat better. Any elk with a bow is a good elk.
If you want big antlers, start playing the draw game for states that are known for producing trophy class animals.
In response to the turkey comparison, I've killed and seen lots of 10" bearded turkeys.
Other than on my trail camera, I've never even laid eyes on a 350 class bull in 25+ years in the elk woods.
A 350 bull is more like a turkey with three 10" beards. Even then, it's still just a glorified yard bird with one of the ugliest faces in the entire animal kingdom. Definitely a blast to hunt, but only because there isn't a spring elk season....
371 2/8 BULL DIY PUBLIC LAND