Field Judging elk is like any other thing you do, the more you do it, the better you get at it.
To say I was great at field judging elk out of my mother’s womb, would be a giant lie, in fact I wasn’t even that good at it in my early 20’s! I thought I was good at it, but I wasn’t as good as my ego led me to believe.
In the late 2000s, I started guiding, hunting and learning from people who were better than me. Of course I didn’t tell them that, because I am a prideful guy. The web was also taking off, thus I was able to find Jay Scott’s field judging videos (Youtube) and articles. These, along with in the field experience helped me figure out how to get to the NEXT level and really evaluate a bull.
So, recently, I was on the Jay Scott Outdoors Podcast discussing Field Judging Elk and I think you should listen:
iTUNES: Field Judging Elk Part 1
iTUNES: Field Judging Elk Part 2
My estimation of this bull elk:
My gut says I am high, but that’s what I see when I add him up. On a side note, this bull is in the velvet thus it could be 1 reason I believe I am over estimating. I wouldn’t be surprised if he only went 365-370 hard horned.
Some more bulls I recently filmed:
We grow some of the biggest free range elk in the world in Arizona, but that in itself doesn’t mean I am great at fielding judging elk. It takes a lot of effort, repetition and thought to get better at it, just like anything else.