Contributors to this thread:
Score this Michigan Elk
My guide asked if I would shoot this bull. For reference, in Michigan you can only draw a bull elk tag once in your life. I drew the tag and season starts next Tuesday. I'm trying to get some input into whether to hold out or not.
Here's another angle of the same bull
I think the big question is whether there opportunities are for bigger elk and what are your odds.
You would be insane to pass that bull in Michigan. Just my opinion. Congrats on the tag of a lifetime...... I’m jealous..... I’ll probably never get drawn.
I don’t know the quality there and those pics with the bulls head in the lens are terrible for judging score. Just like trophy photos with a wide angle lens on the animals nose it makes them look bigger than they are. I don’t think that’s a bull I’d shoot on a OIL tag, at least that wouldn’t be where I set my standards.
Maybe. I have a friend who killed a legitimate 350” 5x5. A big 5x5 is very rare. I would love to have a huge 5x5, or a huge 2x2 mule deer... Hard to tell from the pictures.
For me it would depend on what other bulls are in the area, a lot or not many ?? How many bigger bulls are you seeing and how long you have to hunt. If you’re covered up with big bulls I’d pass if he’s considered a real good Michigan bull and it’s a oil hunt I would be shooting. Good luck.
I think that bull is closer to 300 which is a stud for a 5x5. No clue on what kind of bulls you have over there but enjoy your hunt!
I think ghost got it 250-260
This is a bull I found dead, about a year dead. It scores in the mid 330 range. Actually a 5x6 but the sixth is about 1.5" long. Gives you something to compare to.
If it`s shooting that bull or tag soup....shoot the bull. I would shoot that bull if given the chance out west. The guide should know if he has seen better bulls.
As others have said, I would pass that bull up on a once in a lifetime tag unless it is 30 min before dark on the last evening of the hunt/season
A once in a lifetime tag? That bull walks in front of me he gets shot. You may not get a second chance, I guess you can put your tag on the trophy wall.
Exactly LB. this ain’t Montana or Arizona....... it’s Michigan. Pass that bull and I’d bet you’ll be sorry you did. There’s only about a thousand elk here..... and that’s a good one for Michigan.
So the back story is, the guide knows this bull well. He was a 6 point last year and is in an area all by himself (no other shooters in the area). My guide usually shoots bulls in the 300-315" range. He said there are a few bigger bulls around but this early in the season there is a lot of pressure to get on them. My season is only 12 days long, but its broken up into 3, 4-day Hunts. the first hunt starts next Tuesday and goes till Friday, the second hunt starts sept. 6 and the 3rd start sept. 27th. Another aspect is, not many people bow hunt for elk in Michigan. My guide only knows of Cows and one smaller bull being shot with archery/crossbow so its uncharted territory for him. I think I would shoot this bull if he was still in velvet and only with my bow. We'll see how it plays out.
My take is if you have to ask, you're gonna shoot him :)
Especially if you're trying to get it done w archery tackle. Not sure why, but our Michigan elk just dont seem to get huge like they do in other states.
I would shoot that bull with my bow. No one else has shot one like it
I would drop string on that bull with a good shot opportunity, especially in velvet.
In a heartbeat!
Score or no score.
I really like big 5’s and he is really pretty!
And he’s gonna score north of 300...
I would definitely shoot that bull but he’s not going 300. Look at how young that bull is in the face and body. He is not mature which makes the rack deceivingly look bigger. Here is a picture of my 5x5 that netted 244. While the bull in the picture is bigger than mine he’s not 60 inches bigger.
Absolutely not. If your guide regularly gets 300-315 bulls I don’t understand why he’d even ask.
Congratulations on the tag. Go get him.
He is an impressive looking 5 point. Since it is a once in a lifetime tag, and you only have 12 days, I'd shoot him if you got the chance. Unless there are some huge elk that you have a good chance of getting, I wouldn't pass up on killing that one if I were you.
It's a nice bull but is is not going to go over 300. Tines are not long enough. All the tines are straight no curves. The brow tines go up no horizontal growth before they curve up. This 5 x 6 bull gross over 300 (unofficial), compare the tine length and curves. My guess is the bull will be plus or minus 10 of 250.
Kill him and lets find out.
That bull would be the State Record Bull taken with a bow.......
Does that change any of your minds ?
He's gonna gross in the 260's I'd bet.
You guys are starting to sway me away from this bull. I feel like I should be shooting for a pope and young size bull minimum. My Guide was asking me if I was interested because of the location of the Bull. He thinks he's far enough away from all the other bulls that no one will be bothering us if we try for him.
It really doesn't matter what we think. If you think you'd be happy with him, shoot him. Is it really going to matter to you if he scores 261 or 259? I personally think it will probably be short of netting that 260 for P & Y, but there's only one opinion that matters, and it ain't mine.
To be clear, I was not telling not take the bull! I was just posting to guess the score and give you a picture to compare. That is a nice bull and you should not care what others think. Some hunters have more opportunities than others. I killed a lot of bulls that were just legal (4 points) before we found a much better place to hunt and I raised my standards. I'm at the point in my hunting career where its is not about the kill, it is now about the hunt. Go have fun and be careful not to pass an opportunity that you will regret later.
FWIW....about 15 years ago or so a bow hunter shot an extremely large (record book large) bull in Michigan. As I remember the story the bull was in an open field and he had to belly crawl to get close enough in for a shot. I think it was in Michigan Woods and Water magazine. The attached link shows a book rifle elk from 2008.
John...... can you post a link to the bow kill ?? I can’t find anything on any bow killed elk in Michigan......
If your guide says the location of the bull means he won’t be disturbed why not hunt the first 4 day hunt looking for one of the 300+ bulls your guide regularly kills. If that doesn’t pan out go after this bull for the rest of your hunt. 12 days is a good amount of time to kill an elk especially in a state with very limited tags.
Michigan elk hunting is nothing like out west elk hunting; you better decide before September 15 when the bear and bird season begins up there...
I say who cares what he scores. Go hunt, have fun, and kill whatever you feel like. You have a once-in-a-lifetime tag. Spend your time having fun and not worrying about a number.
BB....I tried to find it. Here are some Google returns to dead links. There is a 2007 thread of a WR elk by a hunter using a Michigan recurve.
This one is 2004. I don't know if it's the same one or different. The links are dead. Without seeing the full text, I don't know if this one is it. I remember the guy saying the elk was in a field/open area and he had to belly crawl to get to it. It was big news back at the time. https://www.michigan-sportsman.com/forum/threads/world-record-elk-with-recurve-bow.79594/
I wish I had a current version of Commemorative Bucks of Michigan Record Book. The one I have is the 6th Edition And was published in 2002.........
In that edition.... The top 254 typical elk listed with Commemorative Bucks of Michigan ..... All were taken with Rifle.... 3 of those being taken with muzzle loader. The scores ranged from 349.2 down to 240.0 (Only the top 89 scored over 300).
18 non typical elk were entered.... all of those were rifle kills.... The top score being 375.2 (The top 15 in this category scored over 300).
This book is 17 years old and I’m sure much has changed in the latest edition of the book..... And it’s entirely possible that good bulls have been killed with archery gear that were never entered into Commemorative Bucks of Michigan Record Books...... but I cannot seem to find much on line about any. Scott’s guide said he believed one small bull was killed with archery gear and some cows.
I think your 2007 link is about a Michigan man who traveled to Arizona and killed a Record bull.
Another thing to consider is that Scott’s guide might be trying to persuade him to try for that bull because he thinks it’s the best chance he has for an archery kill. He has rifle clients that he has to find shooter bulls for as well. He admitted that he isn’t very experienced in guiding bow hunters.... as would be the case with most if not all Michigan elk guides. So his guide might be trying to save the bulls he has an eye on in open country for the rifle hunters he is guiding. By open areas.... I’m talking literally golf courses.
I would shot that bull, i have a cow tag and will be hunting on Tuesday my self. Good luck.
I do not post anymore on the Michigan Sportsman website but there is one guy there that does guide for just about anything that moves over there. He might remember what the deal was??
As originally posted, I still say 250-260. I do second what NOWISER said. Enjoy the hunt and if it feels right, give the ol bow string a tug. Don’t let score take away from your hunt.
“That bull would be the State Record Bull taken with a bow....... Does that change any of your minds ?”
If that’s REALLY the case?
I don’t always hunt Elk, but when I do, I hunt public land....
And that’s a good-lookin’ bull.
On the first day of a 12-day trip, maybeso not.... unless BigBear is correct. If you’re concerned with scoreable inches and it gets no better, you’d be Stooooopid to pass him up.
If you don’t care about trophies, screw it and enjoy HUNTING.
How about this..... Pope and Young minimum for elk is 260.... right ?? Maybe there’s been a Pope and Young bull entered from Michigan that I’m not aware of and can’t find any information on line about.
Can any of you guys who own P&Y Record Books tell me if you can find any P&Y bulls from Michigan ??
You know... I think I’ve changed my mind. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I realized from the start it isn’t Montana or Wyoming. But I’m from Pa and I was judging by what the potential is here which means as high as 400 if you’re lucky but easily in the mid 300s. I’ve seen some really big 5 points that if it weren’t for genetics would probably have grown into 6s. One time a client of mine killed what we nick named the “world record 4 point”. Basically after looking closer it was missing one brow tine on one side and a 3rd on the other. At a glance you wouldn’t have realized that. It was a hell of a bull with good mass and long beams. I’m not a fan of unpunched tags. If I had a once in a lifetime tag I’d want the biggest bull I could find. But I wouldn’t want to be sweating it out with 3 or 4 days left and I damn sure wouldn’t want to live the rest of my days without a bull to remember that hunt by.
That bull is young and he’ll likely be bigger in a year or two. But you won’t have a tag then brother. Go shoot that bull and I’ll tell you something... there’s no such thing as an easy elk hunt. No freebies. I’m sure you’ll face some challenges to slip an arrow into him. I’m looking forward to seeing some pictures and hearing your story about the one that almost got away. Best of luck to you.
I agree with mule powers last post. Go have fun!!!!
Just to add to your thought process. Think about the rest of your life and everytime you look back and say why didn't I take that bull in the hand? a once in a lifetime tag should never be wasted by hoping for a bigger animal, it will haunt you the rest of your days, it's not like you can go back next season and get him.
No matter how big of bull you shoot, there's always a bigger one
Any updates on your Michigan elk hunt ??
Why on earth would you pass up a shot at that bull if presented one, esp. with a once in a life time tag? If you want a world record set of antlers, take up shed hunting in the off season, and shoot this one NOW! Sheesh.
How many of your Michigan buddies have a 5x5 Michigan elk hanging in their house they shot with a bow?
Have you ever eaten elk meat?
This is Michigan....once in a lifetime...on an elk that is close if not a PY.
WTF is the question again? LOL!
living here in Michigan, I would shoot that bull upon sight. No question. Once in a lifetime tag and a legal bull in my home state? I’m shooting and practicing my grip and grin smile!
I would shoot him if I had the chance, he is a cool looking bull!
I still say he would be the Michigan State Record Archery bull elk...... and haven’t found any information on any bulls taken in Michigan with archery gear..... let alone one that approaches P&Y. Hopefully Scott updates us on how his hunt went.
There is no guarantee that you will ever see this Bull let along get a shot at him or any other Bull. So why would you consider passing a shot on him or at any Bull on a OIL tag.
I would love to know the score on that Bull as it is bigger than most of you think it is. 285"+
I hunted a cow the first week of the elk season and changes are very good that bull will be on the move by now and he may never see he again. As the rut heats up the elk move more into there core area.
Did you kill a cow T.O. ?? Pics ?
Yes I shot my cow with a rifel the second day of the season , had to make it a short hunt heading to alaska next week for caribou.
Congratulations !! Good luck in Alaska !! How many points did you have to get the cow tag ??
I drew a bull tag in 1998 waited my 10 years to start putting in again and it took 11 years to draw the cow tag, I have been very lucky drawing the tag.
Wow !!! One of the very few in Michigan who have been drawn twice. Man am I jealous..... I’ll most likely never get drawn. I think I’m up to 14 points now.
Just keep trying someone has to draw, good luck its a fun hunt.
Yessir. !!! Go get em in Alaska !!!!
Big Bear, I'm ahead of you. I'm not very blessed though so I may never draw a tag either.
However, a friend has a golden horse shoe and drew a cow tag, then after the waiting period drew a bull tag. Both of them the FIRST YEAR he applied!!!!!!!