Patience and persistence produced tremendous results for Grenfell resident Clay Roberts when he successfully hunted a record-breaking bull elk on September 14.
Roberts drew an elk tag for Zone 37 this fall so as soon as Duck Mountain Provincial Park opened for hunting on September 10, he set out on a quest for an old herd bull. Several bull elk responded to his calls during the first two days, but Roberts bided his time and his patience paid off.
“I got a real raspy, growly response,” he told Grasslands News, “knowing this was likely the herd bull I challenged him with a bugle.” The bull answered, but moved in another direction with the rest of its herd. The same scenario played out over the next few days.
“On the third day I decided to try to get ahead of where he always seemed to take his herd after calling,” the hunter explained. “Getting into his backyard, so to speak, and challenging him with a bull call proved to be the key to getting this old bull’s attention.” One more bugle call brought the bull out to the edge of the slough and Roberts took his shot, gaining a trophy that would make others justifiably jealous.
After field dressing the animal, which later dressed out at 505 pounds, Roberts walked out of the bush for help. He returned with his wife and a friend, but it took them more than five hours to drag the massive animal out of the swamp and thickly timbered area.
Blair Mitchell, who is a Boone and Crockett official measurer, completed the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation score sheet for the bull and the animal had a score of 421 5/8 gross for non-typical elk. Mitchell said afterwards that it was an “honour and privilege to put the tape on the largest wild bull elk I’ve ever laid my eyes on.” The animal has the largest mass of the 72 non-typical bulls in the Henry Kelsey Record Book. It will also be entered in the Boone and Crockett Record Book, under both typical and non-typical elk.
Roberts intends to have the bull shoulder mounted for display. “It was a crazy experience that I will never forget,” he said.