The rack of a massive bull elk shot this fall in northwest Minnesota has been scored by a certified measurer for the Boone and Crockett Club, and it's all but official the trophy will be the highest-scoring elk ever taken by hunting in Minnesota.
Brad Penas of Moorhead shot the 6x7 bull Sept. 14 in Kittson County.
Paul Agre, a Greenbush, Minn., taxidermist, green-scored the rack at 391 inches in September, but Boone and Crockett requires a 60-day drying period before a certified measurer tallies the official score.
Randy Dufault, East Grand Forks, measured the rack for Penas in late November in Moorhead and gave it an official score of 393 2/8 inches in the typical category for symmetrical antlers. According to Boone and Crockett, the previous record for an elk taken by hunting in Minnesota scored 371 6/8 inches typical and was shot in 1996.
"Just huge" is how Dufault, a certified Boone and Crockett measurer, described the rack.
"Wide, tall and thick -- they don't get much nicer than that," Dufault said in an email. And if it hadn't been for an oddball tine that resulted in a 12 7/8-inch deduction, the official score would have been more than 406 inches typical, Dufault said.
Penas was one of only two hunters to draw an elk tag for the Caribou Township area of northeast Kittson County, where he shot the elk the first morning of the season after hearing the bull bugle and walking through thick brush to come across the animal standing 70 yards away.
To draw one of the rare tags and then take such a trophy animal could be compared to winning the lottery -- twice.
"A lot of people wouldn't really appreciate a bull of this size, but Brad really does," Dufault said. "I had a great time measuring it for him and hearing the story firsthand."
Penas this week said he got an email confirmation from Boone and Crockett that they had received the paperwork from Dufault. Once they've reviewed Dufault's work, a standard procedure, the score will become official.
The looming question, Penas said, is deciding where to hang the trophy, which is being made into a full head mount.
"We have been moving the antlers around inside the house and only found one spot that it could possibly fit, but we will have to wait and see after the mount is completed," Penas, who heads the investigative division for the Moorhead Police Department, said this week in an email. "We have 5½ feet above the entrance in the foyer area. The problem is that I am guessing (the mount) will take up about 6 feet."
No coincidence, perhaps, Penas' elk came within about three miles of the site where the largest Minnesota elk in the Boone and Crockett books was found. That bull, which scored 458 4/8 nontypical, died in December 2010 after tripping over a fence and getting its rack stuck in deep mud.
The bull can't be included in the hunting category, but it's the No. 4-ranked elk in the Boone and Crockett record book.
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