Discover the Largest Elk Ever Caught

Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park, Roosevelt bull elk, bugling in meadow
© Danita Delimont/

Written by Hannah Crawford

Published: December 14, 2023

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All around the world, men and women hunt in the United States and internationally. They have high hopes of finding the largest animal to hold a prestigious title. During elk season, there have been many great catches that have made world records. And each time, there is an even bigger one than the last. 

Field & Stream is a famous magazine for hunting, fishing, and the great outdoors. They share the top 10 world-record highest-scoring elk and their scores. 

(from least to greatest)
1Spider BullCurrent B&C non-typical world record elk
478 ⅝
2Revelstoke Mystery BullFormer B&C non-typical world record
465 2/8
3Alonzo Winters BullCurrent B&C typical world record
442 ⅝
4John Plute BullFormer B&C typical world record
442 ⅜
5Grandpa BullCurrent P&Y non-typical world record
6Clay Heuett BullAlmost, so-close P&Y non-typical world record
422 6/8
7Stephan Felix BullCurrent P&Y typical world record
8Chuck Adams BullFormer P&Y typical world record
411 ⅜
9Lopeteguy Found BullCurrent B&C Tule elk world record
10Rick Bailey BullCurrent B&C Roosevelt’s elk world record
419 6/8

Let’s dive right into the current world record, Rick Bailey’s elk bull catch below. 

The Largest Elk Ever Caught

Roosevelt Elk in the Rocky Mountain National Park

Roosevelt elk can run up to 40 miles per hour.


The Boone and Crockett Club® is a non-profit organization promoting safe hunting practices and supporting wildlife conservation status. And they have labeled a Roosevelt elk as being the largest elk that Rick Bailey has ever caught. And this bull currently holds the B&C world record. 

Rick Bailey hunted near Pitt Lake in British Columbia, Canada, in 2015. He and his friends set up camp so they could hunt for elk. And, of course, they would be lucky to get their sights on a Roosevelt elk. 

The California Fish and Wildlife states the following. “Despite their massive size and majestic appearance, Roosevelt elk have proved an elusive research subject because of the dense forests they inhabit.” British Columbia is two-thirds forests. So, it is no surprise what Bailey would find the next day.

On Bailey’s second day of hunting, he spotted a Roosevelt elk bull 200 yards away. He comments to B&C, “I took my shot, and he dropped. When we got up to where he lay, we spooked him, and he got up and took off. We decided to leave the area so we would not cause him to run any farther. We came back later and found the bull approximately 100 yards from where we last spotted him.” 

Below are the trophy stats from Bailey’s world-record catch of the highest-scoring elk, according to Boone and Crocket Club®. 

Score419 6/8
LocationPitt Lake, British Columbia
HunterRick Bailey
OwnerRick Bailey

How Many Elk Live in Canada? 

Elk are herbivore eaters that eat only plant matter.

©Jaroslav Sugarek/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Fourteen different elk species live throughout Asia, Eurasia, and North America. There is no shortage of elk throughout the world. There are estimates to be two million remaining in their population. The elk’s conservation status is “least concern”” according to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature.)

Of these two million, approximately 72,000 elk reside in Canada. About half that number is in British Columbia, where Bailey tagged this bull. Roosevelt elk are known for their beauty but also for their massive size, hence the world-record title.Let’ss see just how big they are. 

Roosevelt Elk (Cervus canadensis roosevelti) Facts 

Animals worldwide have names coinciding with where they live, a title, or being named after someone famous. For example, the North American black bear is named this because they inhabit North America. The lion is referenced as the king of the jungle because of their ability to dominate the wild. Lastly, the Roosevelt elk (Cervus canadensis roosevelti) is famously named after President Theodore Roosevelt. 

Roosevelt elk are the largest variety of elk in North America. The Roosevelt elk solely lives in North America, unlike elk (Cervus canadensis).

How Big Are Roosevelt Elk?

Roosevelt elk is a large species of the deer family Cervidae. They can weigh anywhere from 600-1,200 pounds. And they stand at 5.6 feet at the withers. Withers is about the highest point of theelk’ss back. They can also reach an amazing 6.9-8.5 feet in length. 

Their powerful size is met by their majestic appearance of brown and white fur. Standing on their heads are massive antlers that reach up to four feet in length. According to Oregon Wild, they have the largest antlers of the elk species. What helps these elk antlers stand out, in addition to their size, is that they have a three-point tip, otherwise known as a crown. This gives them their magisterial look. 

No wonder the Roosevelt elk is the largest on record. This distinguished animal deserves the world record title it won and still holds. 

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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