If you’re on the hunt of a lifetime, it obviously will pay big dividends to be proficient at judging Idaho Elk Hunts.
Elk aren’t as hard as some species to score on the hoof but still there are some tricks that you need to be aware. When most novice elk hunters see their first bull the only thing they can compare it to is a whitetail back home to which their body and antlers dwarf. Idaho Elk Hunts are more complicated than that however. There are several factors the hunter should keep in mind when deciding if the bull he is looking at is a trophy bull elk or just a younger one that needs more time to grow.
There a four factors to consider when field scoring Idaho Bull Elk Hunts. Width, beam length, mass and point length are all important but by far the most important are the latter two. A bull elk should be wide and have long beams that approach his rump when he tilts his head back to bugle and if he has this all the better but you don’t need this 100 % of the time to be a big bull. Mass and point length are by far the most important characteristics of bull elk out west such as Gila New Mexico. If you don’t have these, no matter how wide or long, a bull elk just doesn’t make the cut.
To be truly big, each and every point must be long on an elk. Just think of the difference in score of an elk that has 12 points with an average length of 12 inches compared to one with an average point lenth of 17 inches. That’s a swing of 50 total inches and this can’t be offset in any way. Remember a Idaho Elk Hunts must have long points. Mass is almost but not quite as important as point length. If you’re looking at a Idaho Elk Hunts that is light horned and not as heavy as your forearm you can be looking at a lack of 2-3 inches on each circumference measurement. When you take into consideration that there are several of measurements depending on the number of points you can see where this adds up quickly as well.
But at the end of the day, I suppose it is what makes each individual hunter happy that make a big bull elk. If just a nice representative is to your liking than that 280 to 300 inch bull will suite you fine but if you’re truly looking for a trophy elk than pay close attention to these factors I’ve mentioned and good luck hunting!