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Im sure some of you have already seen this but I figured id share. I dont know the exact story behind it but instagram story seems to be that it was a winter kill bull from the elk refuge in Jackson Hole this year. Gross score around 405. My question is, wouldn't antler growth be some indication of the bulls health? I guess I would have expected to see a decline in his antlers that would have indicated declining health. Just very surprised that winter can take out a bull that appears to be in his PRIME. One past said scabies perhaps. Again im not 100% on the story behind it yet. Anyone with more info?
Wow, that's an incredible bull. Yowza
I’d pass. That’s a huge deduction on his left side.
Wow! He’s a stud! Surprised he’s a winter kill! Looks dam healthy to me.
Often the biggest bulls expend the most energy during the rut, tending the most cows, defending himself against the most challengers, and chasing away the most lovesick satellite bulls. So by winter, they have the fewest energy reserves and when little feed is available by then, they are often the first to succumb to starvation or nowdays, predation by huff and puff. I have seen it often,when hiking winter ranges during shed season north of the park...the biggest bulls are the weakest by mid to late winter and come spring, they are dead, and the smaller ones live.
No passin' here! Bomber bull!
He must have herded up too many gals and they just flat wore him out:)
Hopefully, he passed on his genes to a pile of babies this spring that will grow up to be just like dear 'ol Dad!
Who knows what happened to him, it's pure speculation at this point. He could have had a disease, had an infected joint from a wolf bite, or choked on thorn.
Pretty sure that bull has been fairly photogenic on the refuge the last couple years
I wonder if the wolves tore the cape up....
Trapper, great point..makes sense the big bulls have used all their reserves but I just figured being on the reserve, he would have had a pretty good chance at survival. They feed them I thought. Although I did see a picture last week of two other bulls that had died on the reserve as well. Kylet, I agree and think this is likely the same bull from a few years back. If not, there is at least one other giant that usually shows up every year. The bull that I saw pics of from years past seemed to be a lot wider though.
Heres a link to the other bull or perhaps this bull.
Sad. If we don’t get a break from Mother Nature this want be the last one you see. Dry summer and then a long hard winter . Hope we catch a break! Hunt
"He must have herded up too many gals and they just flat wore him out:)"
Tavis, if a guy's gotta go, that'd be a pretty good way to do it... :)
I've got a buddy that finds big dead bulls every winter in the mountains where wolves run them into north facing slopes with heavier snow and catch them. Often times, the bigger bulls are solitary and stay up higher with the deeper snow. A negative consequence of being a reclusive, loner animal.
I know lions kill big mule deer as well that hang out in higher elevations in smaller groups or alone.
Always a lot of dead mature bulls on the refuge. I believe I’ve been told a few times is related to a tick? It is odd how it hits the mature bulls - but it does. As mentioned above they are more susceptible because of the rut. If I remember right one sign was losing hair around the neck. I’ve been on there in December the last four years I find several each year they’re easy to glass in the open terrain with snow
What an incredible bull. That video definitely looks like him. What a shame.
Interesting that this was a winter kill. Winter has been exceptionally mild in the Jackson Hole area this year. They didn't even begin feeding the elk until far later than usual due to how mild it was. I was in Jackson 2 weeks ago and the winter range had visible grass and no more than 5-8 inches of snow across much of the flat valley bottom. He must have had some other ailments/conditions that contributed to his demise.
What a GIANT, and what a shame this is how this #bullelk went out! Just goes to prove how harsh #nature can be even for the toughest of #wildlife! **Regrann from @skinnersskullshop - Winterkill from National Elk Refuge Jackson WY. 62” outside spread, 54” inside, 57” main beams. Rough gross score 405”. - #wapiti #elk #400inchclub #regrann
The video bull does not appear to be this bull....hard to fathom more than one like this walking around with that width.
Elk Refuge Bull
Kinda sad for sure
Good luck, Robb
Bone Yard on the Elk Refuge in Wyoming
I kind of have mixed feelings on feeding elk on the refuge. Its good in some ways, but unnaturally keeps many alive that would otherwise die. That can be detrimental in the long run when it comes to disease potential. I think that bull would have died regardless of feeding or of winter severity. He had his hands full during the rut and it did plumb wear him out dead. I saw one huge one dead once on the refuge outside of Sheridan (near Ranchester) that had a hole in its side from a challengers tine - killed by the other bull. They can fight long and hard, and even if not stuck by another's horn, they can die from exhaustion alone. Maybe even a heart attack, who knows? Long term impacts from multiple fights and breeding can do them in. This bull will either be retained by Wyo Fish and Game, or USFWS, or auctioned off at the antler auction for huge $$$ (I wouldn't be surprised if Shauffler buys it).
The bull was not found on the refuge so it is in private hands. Working on getting teeth for aging. The guy has sheds too. The reason they have to feed is the development in the Jackson Hole, that's the area not the town. Traditional elk wintering ground now covered in houses.
Thanks, Pam, yeah, been there a few times and know the area around Wilson and all along the front of the Tetons is developed. Area is growing too. Also to the south in the valley is pretty developed. I know feeding is necessary in this situation, but I still kinda have mixed feelings (as a fish and wildlife biologist). I bet that guy is real happy to have multiple sets of that bull's antlers.
Brutis’s rack has declined. At his peak he was 30” bigger.
Yes I read the story elsewhere and based on his sheds he was in the 430's in the past so he has declined.
I hear ya Trapper. A few years of no feeding and maybe the herd would self regulate the herd size but no one wants to see the outcome from that. We need to phase out feed grounds but...............