Elk hunting

Two bull elk taken this season
surpass Bedford woman’s mark

Staff Report

FRANKFORT, Ky. (January 2006) – Trimble County’s Rita Tharp lost her place at the top of Kentucky’s elk harvest record books. Two new state records for bull elk were set this past season, surpassing the Bedford resident’s old record of 310 3/8.

Paul Cummins

Photo provided

Paul Cummins (left) of Mt. Vernon, Ky.,
watches as elk biologist Charlie Logsdon
(right) and wildlife technician Travis Neal (center) measure the antlers
from the record bull.

Paul Cummins of Mt. Vernon, Ky., now holds the record for a typical elk for a bull he took Oct. 1. The bull’s antlers scored 319 6/8 in the Boone and Crockett Club scoring system after being officially measured Dec. 15 at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
Kentucky’s other bull elk record is now held by Matthew “Train” Hall of Middlesboro, Ky. Hall’s bull, which had non-typical antlers, scored 320 2/8 in the Boone and Crockett Club system after being measured alongside the Cummins antlers Dec. 15. Hall took the bull Oct. 1.
A non-typical antler rack has two or more tines growing from the same location on the main antler beam. A typical rack has only one tine growing from the same location. The Boone and Crockett Club system is based on the length, symmetry and mass of the antlers.
Kentucky has not previously recognized a non-typical record for elk. Department officials decided to begin doing so because the antlers on Hall’s bull were far larger than any non-typical antlers recorded previously.
Photos of both hunters with their record elk antlers are posted on the department’s Internet site at fw.ky.gov.
Cummins, a veteran elk hunter, was one of 100 people drawn this year for a quota elk hunt in Kentucky. His hunt occurred in Knott County. Cummins said the quality of his Kentucky elk hunt was better than his experiences in the western United States.
“We’ve never taken one this big anywhere else,” he explained. “There’s no comparison of hunting out West and hunting here.”

Matthew Hall

Photo provided

Matthew Hall poses
with his record bull elk.

Hall, who took his bull in Bell County, is a first-time elk hunter. He believes the records established this year will fall in 2006. “Both of these records will be broken,” he said. “I’ve already seen a bigger bull than these the other day.”
Only two of the 50 bull elk hunters drawn for the 2005 quota hunt have not taken a bull. Department officials are not aware of a hunter taking a bull with bigger antlers than those harvested by Cummins and Hall. The state also issued 50 permits for cow elk for this year’s drawn quota hunt.
Kentucky began its elk restoration project in Eastern Kentucky in 1997. Biologists estimate the state now has more than 5,000 free-ranging elk. Limited hunting for elk began in 2001.
“That both of our new state record bulls were born right here in Kentucky is a testament to the success of Kentucky’s elk restoration program,” said Tina Brunjes, the department’s elk and big game coordinator. “These are the caliber of animals that folks can expect to hunt in Kentucky in the future.”

• Quota hunt applications for the 2006 elk hunt are now available wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold, online at fw.ky.gov or by calling 1-877-598-2401. It costs $10 to apply. In 2006, Kentucky will issue 200 elk permits through its quota hunt drawing.

Back to January 2006 Articles.



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