Most Massive Bull Ever?

If you didn't know him, it would be easy to envy Clark Guy (left) for his luck. Guy bought a pair of Arizona elk raffle chances at $25 apiece last year, more as a contribution to elk management than with any expectation of winning what amounts to the hunt of a lifetime, the opportunity to hunt elk anywhere in the state for a full calendar year. So when the organizers of the raffle, the Arizona Elk Society (arizonaelksociety.org), called him at home in San Diego last summer, Guy blew them off. "I thought it was a couple of friends having fun with me," said the 44-year-old father of three. "Then I thought it was some sort of solicitation. It took awhile to comprehend that I had won."Outdoor Life Online Editor
It's about here that Guy's luck evolved into hard, old-fashioned work. Once the comprehension soaked in, Guy committed himself to two goals: to best the 393-inch Utah elk that hangs in his family room and to hunt hard for the entire season if he had to. The season, in this case, is a full year; the raffle winner is allowed to hunt from August 1 through the following July 31.Outdoor Life Online Editor
Because he was recovering from surgery, Guy couldn't immediately head to Arizona. Instead, he waited for late August, then spent nine days in the state, mainly poking around Unit 10 in Arizona's legendary Kaibab National Forest. "On that first trip, I was into bulls every day, and most of them were bulls that you dream about," says Guy. "I was with a good friend of mine, a retired Arizona Game and Fish wildlife manager, and he was sick that I was passing these elk."Outdoor Life Online Editor
But as the fall progressed and Guy looked at more and more bulls bigger than the Beehive State whopper on his wall, a funny shift started altering his expectation. "As the year went on I actually raised my standards instead of lowering them," he said. "There's no feeling like letting so many big bulls walk when you have a rifle in your hand and a tag in your pocket. I didn't want the hunt to end."Outdoor Life Online Editor
Guy returned to the Grand Canyon State in January, when big bulls were kegged up on winter range, often hiking into remote basins through hip-deep snow and enduring sub-zero temperatures as he glassed one immense bull after another. By the end of the winter, he had seen dozens of bulls over 400 inches, he had declined invitations from outfitters across the state to come shoot 'their' trophy bulls, and he had spent a total of a month- much of it by himself- in the heart of America's best elk country.Outdoor Life Online Editor
"I had gotten what I wanted out of that hunt," said Guy. "By the end of the winter I planned to transfer the tag to my daughter, who was just turning 10. But I have two younger boys and I knew I could never give them the same opportunity, so to minimize conflict at home as much as anything, I held onto the tag." As spring's antler-growing season turned to early summer, Guy called Matt and Jim Mullins of Mullins Guide Service (mullinsoutfitters.com) in Flagstaff.Outdoor Life Online Editor
"I had seen some of the bulls that the Mullins boys put down, and Matt gave me some pointers about where to go and offered to help locate some bulls," said Guy. "He was amazing. We talked on the phone every day, and sometimes many times every day, while they were scouting. We were on exactly the same wavelength. They worked their tails off and the Mullins never asked for anything or expected any help. The were just happy to be part of the experience."Outdoor Life Online Editor
By this point Guy was focused on Unit 9 along the Grand Canyon's South Rim. And that's where Matt Mullins saw a bull he thought Guy would want to shoot. So in mid July, with only two weeks remaining in the raffle-tag season, Guy returned to Arizona and hooked up with the Mullins boys. The first week they saw an immense bull with main beams that looked to go 62 inches. They decided to set up in a meadow and that evening were rewarded with the appearance of two gargantuan bulls. "One was a bull I had seen earlier, over 50 inches wide," said Guy. "I lined up on him and was just about to fire when I saw a second elk move behind him. That second bull was another 420-plus, and they stood side by side. I put my crosshairs on that wide bull, then swung to the left and fired."Outdoor Life Online Editor
"I just liked that second bull. He had bigger mass and a better front. As I was squeezing the trigger it was as though the whole year was coming through my finger. I didn't really want to pull the trigger. I didn't need to kill a bull to have a successful season."Outdoor Life Online Editor
The bull, though, is every bit as good as Guy expected. In fact, instead of shrinking as he approached, it seemed to get bigger. Small wonder. The rack green-scores 423 3/8 and has 13-inch bases under its thick velvet. "As near as we can tell, it has the most mass of any bull ever taken," says Guy. "It was an amazing season, but the biggest surprise is how reluctant I was to kill him. I learned something about myself: I'd rather hunt elk than kill elk."Outdoor Life Online Editor
(from right) Clark Guy, Arizona elk guide Matt Mullins and retired Arizona Game and Fish biologist Tim Pender.Outdoor Life Online Editor

Arizona raffle tag leads to gargantuan elk. By Andrew McKean.