Unless you missed the 430-inch elk on the cover of this month’s issue of Outdoor Life, you’ll have heard there’s a new record-book bull on the block. Record animals will come and go in the rankings—it’s just a matter of time before one gets unseated from the top spot by another—but the stories of those magnificent animals endure long after their record status fades. Here’s a look at a few of the biggest archery elk that OL has ever covered.

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1. The Elk That Was King / September 1977

outdoor life elk story september 1977
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Although Arizona is widely known today for producing unbelievable bulls, Doug Kittredge of California had to be persuaded to bowhunt elk there in 1975. He ended up arrowing a bull that measured 380 2/8 inches and broke the archery world record. Kittredge and his buddy tracked the bull all day, bumping it more than a dozen times and nearly losing the blood trail in a downpour. They camped in the desert that night before recovering the bull the next morning.

2. Back-to-Back Bulls / November 1981

In a rare feat, Arizona native Jay Elmer toppled Kittredge’s record-book entry in 1979 with a 384 6/8-inch bull—and then proceeded to break his own still-unconfirmed record the following season with a 389 2/8-inch bull. The ’79 bull was never actually recognized as a world record, however, because at the time, Pope and Young only updated its book every two years.

outdoor life elk story november 1983
You can find this story, and many others, with a subscription to our digital archives here Outdoor Life

3. Bowhunting’s Biggest Elk Ever! / November 1983

The reign of Elmer’s record bull was short-lived: Just two years after we published the feature article on his success, we wrote about a firefighter from Las Vegas whose 391 6/8-inch archery bull would outstrip Elmer’s by just 2 1/2 inches. Dave Snyder tagged the new world-record bull in the mountains east of Helena, Mont., the result of decades of elk hunting and an itch to set new goals for himself to reinvigorate his interest in the sport.

By The Numbers

The number of articles in our digital archives containing the phrase…

World-Record 18,048
World-Record Elk 2,745
World-Record Fish 9,954
Fake World Record 216
Poached World Record 297

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