Imagine finding a shed set of bull elk antlers and then finding the dead bull that created the sheds. That's exactly what happened in Colorado several years ago. Below is an excerpt from the book Colorado's Biggest Bucks and Bulls by Susan Campbell Reneau, a life member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Owners Harry J. Riemer II and Mike Skalisky
Location: Fremont County, Colorado
Year Found: 2011
Harry Riemer gazed at Pikes Peak in the spring of 2009, wondering if he would hunt and hike again. By July he was hiking again thanks to successful surgery to correct an irregular heartbeat, and improved hearing aids to help him hunt. He was joined by fellow bowhunter Mike Skalisky.
Harry found a set of elk sheds in and near a creek on private land so Harry and Mike set up motion cameras to capture the living elk on film. This elk, dubbed “The King,” was filmed on August 14, 2009. The sheds were measured and accepted into the North American Shed Hunters Club with a net score of 410-3/8 points and on tour with the 2010 Great Elk Tour hosted by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
The two friends continued to search for “The King” and on August 11, 2011, they discovered the remains of him tucked under some trees in narrow part of a drainage in a green valley. His antlers were protected from the elements and in good condition. The men estimated “The King” had been dead at least 16 months. Wildlife biologists from the Colorado Division of Wildlife estimated the bull died from a cougar attack, or old age. The bull’s teeth were in poor shape, worn to the gums, broken and cracked. His sheds were not eligible for the B&C but the picked up skull and antlers were so Harry and Mike had them entered into the B&C with a gross score of 417-5/8 points and a final net score of 407-7/8.
“We were elated to find him but sad we had lost our chance to hunt him,” Mike said. The two men put their hunting skills to the test from the moment they found his sheds. "The King" toured with the 2012 Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Great Elk Tour as a tribute to a regal animal.
Expanded for the 30th anniversary edition of Colorado's Biggest Bucks and Bulls highlights and Other Great Colorado Big Game, Third Edition, this 416-page book contains thousands of photographs and stories of all 13 categories of big-game animals from Colorado that are entered in the Boone & Crockett, Pope & Young and The Longhunter Society. Hundreds of detailed hunting stories and a chapter on “Your Odds for Taking a Colorado Trophy Mule Deer, Elk or Moose” give you hours and years of reading enjoyment.