|Growing up in the White
Mountains of eastern Arizona has given Alan C. Ellsworth the opportunity to see some great
elk. However, he never would have imagined what was going to take place on February 28,
"Being a local antler
buyer, I was leaving my home to pick up some antlers. As I was waiting at the intersection
to pull onto Main Street, a blue Dodge pickup loaded with a washer and dryer, along with a
great elk rack, drove by. As I pulled onto Main, behind the truck, I was in awe of the
faded elk rack. It was turned upside down, straddling the dryer. My first thought was,
Theres a 400 point bull! I followed the truck for about a mile, guessing
the 6x6 would score about 420 points. The truck turned into a local restaurant and I had
to see the bull up close, so I turned in as well."
"To make the story short, I was able
to purchase the elk. I took the rack back home, quickly put a tape to it, and came up with
a score of 438. Telling my wife, Debby, that we may have a new state record, I hurried out
the door to get back to my antler business. While I was gone I kept thinking, I must
have made a mistake on my score. I didnt think it was that big. When I
returned home that night, I remeasured the huge rack. This time a lot slower! After double
checking everything I came up with a score of 445- 4/8. Now I was really excited, but also
in disbelief! Could I possibly have a new Worlds Record?"
A week later an official Boone and Crockett
measurer, Robin Bechtel, scored the elk at 447- 7/8 points. Ellsworths trophy went
on to break the Arizona state record that April with another score of 446- 2/8. However,
in order to take the Worlds Record at Boone and Crocketts 23rd
Awards program, Ellsworth would need to provide some additional history on the great 6x6.
Backtracking, Ellsworth traced the story to
the previous owners brother, Alonzo (Lon) Winters of Globe, Arizona. Winters, since
deceased, was a second-generation cattle rancher who grew up enjoying the outdoors of
Arizona. Riding through the White Mountains during the fall of 1968, Winters and close
friend, Bill Vogt, spotted the magnificent animal near the Black River. Winters took the
elk down using his Savage Model 99 .308, and avoiding incident, the hunters headed out of
the canyon with their prize packed on their horses. Later though, Ellsworth noted one
minor dilemma Winters had to overcome.
"Tagging his elk presented a problem.
In 1968, the Arizona Game and Fish game tags were a metal band. Lon was unable to fit this
tag on the large elk, so he notched the bulls antler between the G-4 and G-5 points,
so he could properly tag his elk. His children can remember eating elk burger that winter,
and the rack was stored for years in the garage. Friends and relatives remember how proud
Lon was when he showed them his trophy."
Nearly 30 years later, Ellsworth must have
felt similar pride as he concluded the fine elk hunting story with a triumphant ending, a
new Worlds Record scoring 442- 5/8 points.
"This article is reprinted from Boone and Crockett
Club's All-Time Record Book with permission of the Boone and Crockett Club, 250 Station
Dr., Missoula, MT 59801 (406/542-1888)" www.boone-crockett.org