Elk Field Judging Tips
So I'm super stoked about my limited quota elk tag this year and should have the opportunity to get on a really good bull. My old man killed an elk in the late 80's that he had mounted and hung in our house while I was growing up which net scored 338". It's been a dream of mine since I was a kid to kill something larger than that elk and as I said in this unit I should have the opportunity. That being said, what are some tips you all use to field judge an elk. There are many savvy hunters that visit this forum and I value your insight. Thanks in advance!
Score these bulls
Maybe you could use these two bulls to give a estimated score and state how you came up with your answers.
Attachment 1378Attachment 1379
There is alot to look for in a trophy caliber bull. If you looking for a 350+ bull the first thing I look for is tine length. Fronts and thirds at least 16 inches. forths at least 20 inches. fifths at least 12 and good whale tails. Beam length is also important 48 inches or better. Heavy mass and good width. Here is a pic of a bull I took archery hunting he scores 352. his beams were only 44" but he had great everything else. 17" fronts 15" thirds 23" forths, 15 and 10" fifths. He is 48" wide and really heavy.
Originally Posted by plentycoupe
1st bull - 6x5, decent tine length, decent beams and spread, good mass = 285"?
2nd bull - 6x6, good fronts and G3s, not sure what's going on with that right side G1, not as long of G4s as u might want, decent G5s. Decent beams, decent mass, looks like a narrow spread. 325"?
How'd I do?
I have a guide friend that uses a rule of 18. If all points are 18" with a common 50" main beam then the bull would score 336. You can add or subtract from that and the total goes up or down per point. Very quick yet hard to judge method but it works. So for example if the G1's are 16" then that is -2, G2's are 16" then you are now -4, G3's are 17" you are now -6, G4's are 22" you are now +2, G5's are 16" you are now 0. Bull will be around 336". He has used this for years and is within 6 total inches on every bull they have taken. Granted you spot the bull and have time to judge him. Just what he uses and an option for you.
I can see how you want to get a good scoring bull, but don't get to caught up on score. If the bull looks good to you, and you would be happy with it, I say shoot. Good luck, and be sure to post pictures.
That's the kind of stuff I'm looking for. I would really be interested in what he's assuming for spread and mass measurements as well
Originally Posted by sclwald
Ruttin . . . That's the same kind of advice I would typically give. In this case however, this is the 2nd year in a row I've drawn the same premium tag. I made several scouting trips last year and two thus far thus year so I'm certain there are 350" bulls to be had. I took the small 6x6 in my profile pic as my 1st ever archery kill last year. Everything is kind of adding up for me to be choosy this go 'round. Plus the big thing would just to kill a bigger bull than the guy who taught me how to hunt. Been trying to do that for several years now, and this is my best opportunity to date.
When you see him you'll know...good luck man!!! Should be quite satisfying for you and the old man if you got a bigger one!
What area are you hunting?
Ruttin and Jay: both very good bits of advise..No doubt, hen you see him you will know.. A good friend always told me, if you have to ask yourself if he is big enough? He probably isn't. I've always tried to live by that. Some years though I just get to wrapped up in the moment and let her fly..No regrets...Ever.