Sitka Gear
300 vs. 360
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Jaquomo 29-Jul-21
Whocares 29-Jul-21
Huntcell 29-Jul-21
ElkNut1 29-Jul-21
Jaquomo 29-Jul-21
Novembermadman 29-Jul-21
Royboy 30-Jul-21
BULELK1 30-Jul-21
DanaC 30-Jul-21
PECO 30-Jul-21
Jaquomo 30-Jul-21
Inshart 30-Jul-21
Dale06 30-Jul-21
Scoot 30-Jul-21
APauls 30-Jul-21
Jaquomo 30-Jul-21
Snuffer 30-Jul-21
welka 30-Jul-21
Willieboat 30-Jul-21
ohiohunter 31-Jul-21
TD 31-Jul-21
Jaquomo 01-Aug-21
Barron114 01-Aug-21
Barron114 01-Aug-21
drycreek 01-Aug-21
Rickm 01-Aug-21
Jaquomo 02-Aug-21
ohiohunter 02-Aug-21
Old School 02-Aug-21
Grey Ghost 03-Aug-21
elkmtngear 03-Aug-21
Ron Niziolek 03-Aug-21
Grey Ghost 03-Aug-21
Jaquomo 03-Aug-21
Leo17 03-Aug-21
Old School 03-Aug-21
ElkNut1 03-Aug-21
Cheesehead Mike 03-Aug-21
Cheesehead Mike 03-Aug-21
bigeasygator 04-Aug-21
Iowabowhunter 05-Aug-21
welka 06-Aug-21
welka 06-Aug-21
Rickm 06-Aug-21
Rickm 06-Aug-21
Jaquomo 06-Aug-21
Heat 06-Aug-21
bowhunt 06-Aug-21
bigeasygator 06-Aug-21
Jaquomo 06-Aug-21
Cheesehead Mike 06-Aug-21
Denali 08-Aug-21
Cheesehead Mike 11-Aug-21
elkmtngear 12-Aug-21
Kurt 12-Aug-21
Kurt 12-Aug-21
elkmtngear 12-Aug-21
APauls 12-Aug-21
Mad Trapper 12-Aug-21
elkmtngear 12-Aug-21
Ron Niziolek 12-Aug-21
Ron Niziolek 12-Aug-21
Jaquomo 12-Aug-21
TD 12-Aug-21
APauls 12-Aug-21
Cheesehead Mike 13-Aug-21
Rickm 13-Aug-21
From: Jaquomo
29-Jul-21

Jaquomo's embedded Photo
Jaquomo's embedded Photo
Found this camp photo from a few years ago. Most inexperienced hunters would see the one on the left and be in "WOW" land.

For comparison, mine on the left grossed 304. My partner's on the right grossed 368. Really shows the difference between a "nice" bull and a banger.

From: Whocares
29-Jul-21
Id'd still say wow at yours Jaq. You two had a fun hunt!!

From: Huntcell
29-Jul-21
Add About 2” on to each feature, that takes it the next level.

Hoping this year i can use my adding skills.

From: ElkNut1
29-Jul-21
Excellent bulls Jaq! Were those with recurves to boot?

ElkNut

From: Jaquomo
29-Jul-21
Yup. We had a good season.

29-Jul-21
Nice bulls.... if I see one like either of those this fall he is getting shot (or at least shot at!)

From: Royboy
30-Jul-21
I’ve shot a few 300” bulls but my friend shot a 368 and that bull was in a different class . I couldn’t touch fingers around every circumference including between 4th and 5th. Mass plus length!

From: BULELK1
30-Jul-21
With 21 score~ables on a 6 x 6 bull------>

What Huntcell posted is very accurate.

Nice bulls Lou

Good luck, Robb

From: DanaC
30-Jul-21
Which one was better eating? ;-)

This eastern deer hunter would be happy with a 2-year-old elk cow. (And a bigger freezer.)

From: PECO
30-Jul-21
Which one of you killed first?

From: Jaquomo
30-Jul-21
PECO, my partner shot his on day 3. The OTC unit we were hunting is known for lots of raghorns. I was thrilled to get the one I killed.

From: Inshart
30-Jul-21
Nice Lou, Any legal elk, except a calf (unless it's the last day :)) gets a ride to my freezer. I looooove elk meat.

From: Dale06
30-Jul-21
Any elk with a bow is a great trophy.

From: Scoot
30-Jul-21
Lou-- no doubt two awesome bulls! I don't consider myself terrible at field judging elk, but man... I can't believe there is over 60+ inches difference between those two! Actually I totally believe you, but I'd never have guessed it. You are definitely right though-- this flatlander would be pleased as pickled pig $hit to shoot either one!

30-Jul-21
The profile of the 304” bull is very impressive. Especially holding a stickbow

If you study the 360 bull you see the 60” is in the Mass, main beam length and each tine. Spread looks close

From: APauls
30-Jul-21
Both super sexy bulls! I guess you've got close to 15-20"" gross on the G5 and difference between a 6 and a 7, then about another 15" on the fronts and another 15-20 between mass and 3's 4's, and a few more sprinkled in for beam and width. Funny how the "eye test" on that doesn't really look like a 60" difference to me, but when you really study it you see it. probably because it's spread out everywhere. There's no one place that accounts for the lion's share of the 60". Those are the hunts you dream about. Congrats.

30-Jul-21
And it shows how big a 300” bull really is. I would be tickled pink or chartreuse shooting that bull with a stick bow.

From: Jaquomo
30-Jul-21
Dana, the two cows we killed on our "B" tags were the best eating that year! :-)

From: Snuffer
30-Jul-21
Amazing...

From: welka
30-Jul-21
Nothing like seeing a 350+ that you might have even the smallest chance to get to. Then there's the 400"ers - never forget one when you see it on the hoof.

From: Willieboat
30-Jul-21
Nice bulls Jaquamo you gotta love long tines

From: ohiohunter
31-Jul-21
Thanks for the visual, really puts things into perspective. But I’m sure every 280 i see in the field will still look 330 LOL!! Great bulls, and I’m sure even better times!

From: TD
31-Jul-21
Great pic! More with frontal angles and such?

Guessing the chances of nothing but raghorns in that unit went up quite a bit that year......=D

From: Jaquomo
01-Aug-21
TD, I do have a couple with frontal angles. Will retrieve them and post when I get a chance. Front view really shows the difference.

Funny, but my partner was out looking for a bear a few nights after I killed mine and got close to another 360 class bull. Hadn't seen even one bull like that around there since the mid-80s, and haven't since. Then two show up in the same year...

From: Barron114
01-Aug-21

Barron114's embedded Photo
Barron114's embedded Photo
Here is another comparison. 267 on the right, 282 on the left and 342 in the center. All net scores. We were all thrilled with our bulls, but the bull in the middle, killed by my brother and was in another class.

From: Barron114
01-Aug-21

From: drycreek
01-Aug-21
From a guy who’s only killed a cow, the one on the left looks pretty dang good ! :-)

From: Rickm
01-Aug-21
Surprising how the points add up. May not look like it until a tape is on it. I killed my best bull in CO. In 2011. Solid 350 gross. Left it at my buddies place and went back in to try and get my BIL a bull. Guy rifle killed a 400 plus and they took a bull inside a bull pic and it was VERY noticeable. I would say 290 to 320 is the toughest to judge. Shoot and figure it out later!

Good luck this fall.

From: Jaquomo
02-Aug-21

Jaquomo's embedded Photo
Jaquomo's embedded Photo
Jaquomo's embedded Photo
Jaquomo's embedded Photo
Jaquomo's embedded Photo
304 bull right before I shot him
Jaquomo's embedded Photo
304 bull right before I shot him
TD, a couple more different angles. not that much diffence in width. However, my "main beam length" is somewhat longer than my hunting partner... :-)

From: ohiohunter
02-Aug-21
That left side is gorgeous, hard to look at fronts when the close side top looks like that! But who’s counting anyway, shooter all day every day.

From: Old School
02-Aug-21
Good thread Lou - and thanks for the additional angles. Two dandy bulls for sure.

From: Grey Ghost
03-Aug-21
Lou, your frontal pics really show how important the brows, and especially the thirds are to overall score.

Matt

From: elkmtngear
03-Aug-21

elkmtngear's embedded Photo
elkmtngear's embedded Photo
elkmtngear's embedded Photo
Another view of my bull, what a difference the angle makes!
elkmtngear's embedded Photo
Another view of my bull, what a difference the angle makes!
310-ish, vs 350

NM Public Land, 2016...I could fit my rack just inside Kenny's

From: Ron Niziolek
03-Aug-21
Great looking bulls!

From: Grey Ghost
03-Aug-21

Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
I'm enjoying this thread.

Here are 2 bulls I killed. The one on the left was an ancient old warrior. I think he was on the downhill slide, in a drought year. The one on the right was a 3-4 yr. old with great genes. At first glance, they don't look all that different. I never put a tape to them, but I bet the one on the left would score at least 30" more than the one on the right.

Matt

From: Jaquomo
03-Aug-21
There are four different scoring systems - internet scores, TV scores, outfitter scores, and actual measured P&Y scores. Showing comparisons of bulls from credible hunters, like the ones posted on this thread, give a great real-world perspective.

From: Leo17
03-Aug-21
most people can't appreciate what a 300 inch bull is. A 300 inch bull is an amazing accomplishment especially with a bow. I hear it all the time,Guys come into camp saying I want 330 or better, then they see a 280 and you gotta hide their quiver.

From: Old School
03-Aug-21
Had some guys camp by us a few years ago hunting OTC and one of them killed a “300” late one night. A couple days later we saw the head in the back of his truck. If it scored 240 I would’ve been surprised. Amazing how some people “score” big game. This thread does give good perspective on some beautiful animals though.

From: ElkNut1
03-Aug-21
Jaq, lol! So true!

ElkNut

03-Aug-21

Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
270" gross inside 360" gross
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
270" gross inside 360" gross
Great bulls Jaq, congrats! Someday I'd love to kill one with a recurve.

I know I've posted this photo before, but it seems appropriate here.

03-Aug-21

Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Left to right 270" gross (2017), 326" gross (2018) and 260" gross (2019).

From: bigeasygator
04-Aug-21

bigeasygator's embedded Photo
bigeasygator's embedded Photo
I don’t have a 360, but here’s my 300 (net) for some more perspective. I’d say most people guess him to be bigger than he actually is.

05-Aug-21
Great thread! Getting me excited to chase elk next fall with my bow

From: welka
06-Aug-21
Can't remember if I read it on here or hunting mag, but good rule of thumb for a bull to hit 350 is average tine length needs to be around 17" (yes this is very rough and lots involved). Good starting gauge is that brows need to be out to the end of the nose to get close to 17" and gauge the rest from there. Good luck as the countdown begins!

From: welka
06-Aug-21
Can't remember if I read it on here or hunting mag, but good rule of thumb for a bull to hit 350 is average tine length needs to be around 17" (yes this is very rough and lots involved). Good starting gauge is that brows need to be out to the end of the nose to get close to 17" and gauge the rest from there. Good luck as the countdown begins!

From: Rickm
06-Aug-21
50 inch main beams don't hurt either. From a mile away I was thinking 300-320 especially with tje stubs for 5ths. Brow rhrough 4ths and beam length made it up. Wish I still had tje pic of this bull sitting inside the 400. Even would have made Jaq's beam length shrink a bit. :)

From: Rickm
06-Aug-21

Rickm's embedded Photo
Rickm's embedded Photo
Wrong pic

From: Jaquomo
06-Aug-21
My 353 bull had 53" main beams and a 50" spread.

From: Heat
06-Aug-21
I'm not sure I would ever be able to pass on a 300" bull, ever!

From: bowhunt
06-Aug-21
Jaquomo, that 304 bull of yours is probably the biggest looking 300 class bull I've seen. A really nice bull that would have fooled me by 15-20 inches trying to judge off the photos for sure!

Seems like you have killed a several once in a life time bulls from the stories I've read on Bowsite over the years, good luck this year!

From: bigeasygator
06-Aug-21
My 353 bull had 53" main beams and a 50" spread.

It's really cool to see how and where different elk make up their point total. The elk I posted that scored in the low 300s had beams that were right at 50" (49-1/4, 50-3/8 respectively). Spread credit was only 33" and he definitely wasn't as developed on the low end. It's always fun to compare.

From: Jaquomo
06-Aug-21
Thanks, bowhunt. He fooled me too until I put a tape on him, then had him officially scored. And I have seen, killed, and taped a LOT of bulls. That's why I rarely trust someone else's estimation of a bull's size on the hoof unless it is one of about a half dozen big bull killers I know. Way too many "300" bulls are actually 260-270. Especially on TV shows. ;-)

06-Aug-21
My 360 has 54" beams and 48" spread. Good fronts, really good thirds and I think the fourths are like 24" if I remember correctly.

From: Denali
08-Aug-21
A 350 puts you in the top 5% of P&Y.....ish. A 300 is a great bull in most areas and way too many put a lot of stake in a number. IME you have to get a really good look at a bull to score him. Elk are way harder to score based on "frame". Personally, any bull approaching 300" is not getting a pass.

11-Aug-21

Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
I've certainly never held out for a bull over 300" I've just gotten lucky and had a couple commit suicide. Depending on where I'm hunting my goal is usually just a nice 6 point and I've passed quite a few 5 points and smaller. I killed this 285" 6 point in an OTC unit a few years back and in the short amount of time I saw him before shooting I estimated him at about 300". He was close enough for me. Another inch or so on each point and he would have been right there but I agree, it doesn't really matter. This year with an AZ tag might be the first year I pass on a 6 point.

From: elkmtngear
12-Aug-21

elkmtngear's embedded Photo
elkmtngear's embedded Photo
elkmtngear's embedded Photo
elkmtngear's embedded Photo
Body Size can really downplay the rack as well.

I shot this bull over a waterhole, and when he came in, I thought he was maybe 260, 270 inches. Taped him out at 290. Probably the biggest bodied bull I've ever processed. Head and body were both huge.

From: Kurt
12-Aug-21
Elkmt...290 gross or net? I agree with you he sure doesn't look 290 net, but bet you had a whole lot of great eating on that one!

From: Kurt
12-Aug-21

From: elkmtngear
12-Aug-21
Yeah, gross score Kurt.

He definitely filled my freezer!

From: APauls
12-Aug-21
300" elk and 150" whitetails. People see them everywhere. Having only drawn 5 elk tags in my life I'm no seasoned elk slayer. I've been pretty lucky killing four and hitting one, but last year my buddy and I got two in two days. I guessed mine at 270 and his at 240. They taped out about 310 and 270 gross lol. Never hurts to have ground growth.

I think one of the reasons I was so off it is really easy to make an elk look amazing for a photograph. Another reason comparing kill pics to live animals is tricky. Then people see the pics of my 310 and they think its a 330. I feel like I've posted it too many times, so I'll save you guys this time ;) Just crazy to think of the swing there. Shooting the animal I thought he was 270, and then people offhand comment he's like 330. 60 inches is a heck of a swing.

From: Mad Trapper
12-Aug-21
This is an outstanding thread. Man I have a lot of work to do to get up to speed on scoring elk. Any quick rules of thumb that you guys use when assessing a bull on the hoof?

From: elkmtngear
12-Aug-21
"Any quick rules of thumb that you guys use when assessing a bull on the hoof"?

Hopefully some of the big bull killers will chime in on this. I'm primarily a meat hunter, so if it's a legal elk, I'm usually letting fly.

I try not to look at the antlers, after quickly assessing that he's legal ;^)

From: Ron Niziolek
12-Aug-21
I wrote this in an article years ago:

335 inch bull. Chris Nielsen – a very knowledgeable guide from Cody, Wyoming uses the rule of 16’s when he is guiding elk hunters. He believes this is the fastest and easiest way to judge bulls. 16 inch points for the first 4 points, 6 inches for the 5th. Main beams at 50 inches with a 40 inch inside spread and 28 inches of mass per side will give you a 336 inch bull. “It’s an easy reference” Chris says. “Judge each point individually and use a plus or minus off of 16”.

From: Ron Niziolek
12-Aug-21

Ron Niziolek's embedded Photo
Ron Niziolek's embedded Photo
Ron Niziolek's embedded Photo
Ron Niziolek's embedded Photo

From: Jaquomo
12-Aug-21
I'm an expert at judging bulls under 260....

From: TD
12-Aug-21
I took a "scoring class" once from Bigdan. Guesstimates with scored and entered bulls. Found I was pretty darn close when I'd take a guess..... and then automatically subtract anywhere between 20 and 30 points.....

He had one that I would have sworn was 300+, had so much mass your jaw dropped, could barely put both hands around the base and he carried that mass pretty much all the way up. Just made P&Y minimum, was 268, 270 or something. He had a couple that scored much higher but honestly didn't look so. He explained how with scoring, length was everything. Mass adds too, but doesn't count nearly as much as length. When I looked again, yeah, I could see his tines were on the short side. So scoring wise he didn't add up to what that mass seemed to promise. But I can hear him now when someone was showing him a pic of bull..... "I'da shot him...."

One of his most impressive was a very rare 5x5 that made the books, not many of those. NV bull I think. Whenever I hear the term "whale tails" that one pops up in my head.

Yeah, score is score, a standard, a measure and I'm a fan of sorts. But numbers aren't the whole picture, in some cases just the frame. =D

From: APauls
12-Aug-21
length>mass>spread for scoring.

13-Aug-21
Up to this point I've judged bulls based on comparing them to several euro mounts and mounted bulls that I have that range between 240" and 360" gross. It's not very scientific but it's gotten me pretty close.

Thanks Ron for the rule of 16's tutorial, I'll practice it on the racks I have and hopefully put it to use in Arizona next month.

From: Rickm
13-Aug-21
Td, When we found Ron's bull I texted Dan and said 320, good bull. Sent a pic and he agread. Even after getting it back to camp we still thought maybe 330. It netted 343 ish? It was long and a little lean on mass but a 7x8. Some bulls are really hard to judge. I usually under estimate on every animal but it's better to be pleasantly surprised.

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