SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- An elk shot by a hunter in Utah has won official recognition for the largest rack ever recorded for a non-typical American elk.
Officials have also confirmed that the animal was not raised on a farm, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Critics had suggested that an elk with such a big set of antlers could not have survived in the wild.
Doyle Moss, of MossBack Guides and Outfitters, said that other hunters had tracked the elk, nicknamed "the Spider bull," on Monroe Mountain. He said the elk clearly behaved like a wild elk.
Moss guided Dennis Austad of Ammon, Idaho, who won a special $150,000 Utah permit giving him the right to hunt on state lands for some months. The state uses the money for conservation.
"We all knew he was a special bull, but the reality of just how big he was really set in when we walked up to him," Moss said.
The elk's rack was scored at 478 5/8 points, a figure reached through a series of measurements of the antlers. The previous record in North America was an elk found in a frozen lake in British Columbia in 1994 that scored at 465 2/8.