Every hunter in Missouri's first firearm elk hunt harvests a bull elk
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This certainly counts as a successful hunt.
Missouri held its first elk-hunting season in modern history this year, which consisted of two portions: the archery portion, which ran in late October, and a firearms portion that just concluded. And while the archery portion did not produce any harvests, all of the hunters who participated in the firearms session were successful, Fox 2 reports.
On Dec. 19, Bill Clark harvested a bull elk on his own property in Van Buren (Missouri Department of Conservation)
Five hunters were selected to participate in the session that ran from Dec. 12 to Dec. 20, and all five reportedly harvested an elk.
The Missouri Department of Conservation issued a press release detailing the hunters and their harvests. According to the statement, Joe Benthall of Mount Vernon harvested a 5x5 bull elk in Shannon County on Dec. 12. A few days later, Michael Buschjost scored a 6x6 bull elk near the MDC Peck Ranch Conservation Area.
Joe Benthall of Mount Vernon harvested a 5x5 bull elk in Shannon County on Dec. 12. (Missouri Department of Conservation)
The same day, Sam Schultz took down a 5x6 bull elk on private property in Shannon County. On Dec. 16, Gene Guilkey harvested a 6x7 bull elk in a nearby area. And on Dec. 19, Bill Clark harvested a bull elk on his own property in Van Buren.
"I see elk on our land all the time," Clark told the MDC. "I’m nearly 80 and use a cane and a crutch so I’m limited in my mobility. I was standing on my back deck and saw a group of cow elk about 100 yards through the trees in the yard with a spike bull with them. He stopped, and that was the shot I had and the shot I took."
Sam Schultz took down a 5x6 bull elk on private property in Shannon County. (Missouri Department of Conservation)
Guilkey also described his hunt to the MDC, saying, "When I harvested this bull, I was stressed, relieved, and overjoyed all at the same time. I screamed loud enough that quite possibly all three counties involved could hear me! What a thrill! Taking this trophy was the hardest hunt I have encountered. It took a lot of scouting before and during the archery season to get the terrain laid out."
The archery portion of the elk hunt ran from Oct. 17th to Oct. 25th, but no elk were reported to have been harvested during this time period.