New state record bull elk in Kansas?

Potential state record elk shot in Kansas

Photo credit: The Topeka Captial-Journal 

A Kansas hunter definitely has a memory that will last a lifetime after shooting what could be a new state record bull elk during muzzleloader season. While elk were once native to the state, the once prolific herds are now much smaller and a result of recent reintroduction efforts. This means that spotting an elk can be rare and where this particular elk was shot even rarer. According to The Topeka Capital-Journal, the “small, self-sustaining elk population” stays “close to Topeka” with few straying as far east as Winchester, where DJ Klenklen made the shot of a lifetime.

Side view of the potential state record bull

Photo credit: The Topeka Captial-Journal 

“Land owners (two) had told him there was a rogue elk that has been around their property for the past three years,” Lacy Klenklen wrote in an email. “Well, while out dove hunting, my husband accidentally walked up on this elk, 40 yards or so, and spooked him up. He couldn’t believe it, he was real and he was right in front of him!”

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The next day, DJ Klenklen bought an elk tag with a mission: to find that bull again. It didn’t take long – within hours, the bull was back, bugling as it walked closer, unaware that Klenklen waited. When the bull was within 60 yards, Klenklen shot.

“The elk didn’t run, he just seemed confused,” says Lacy Klenklen. “My husband loaded his gun again. The elk spun around, now being broadside the opposite direction, and my husband fired a second shot. This time the elk started to trot off before finally going down just 20 yards from where he originally was hit.”

While the bull’s rack will not be officially scored until Nov. 5, game wardens believe it will be a new state record.

Congratulations, DJ Klenklen!


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