Like field judging any trophy animal, Field Juging Elk can be a lot more difficult in a REAL situation. Late season elk generally give me the most trouble, because many times the bulls don’t present themselves like they do during the early seasons. The bulls posture different when they are recovering from the rut and they are generally in THICK cover.
Here is an actual situation I found myself in on Richelle’s elk hunt this past year. We didn’t set a number goal before the hunt, but we did want to kill a large mature animal. I air judged this bull around 350ish and I was about 30-40 inches off.
Watch as the bull gives us a completely different look as he steps out at last light. Generally, I under judge stuff during the late season but on this occasion I was trying to make this bull a lot bigger than he was.