Hunter bags 7x7 bull elk

Mike Zollman with the 7x7 rack from the bull elk that he shot opening morning in the Imnaha unit.

Mike Zollman has been hunting in Wallowa County for most of his adult life, but in all those years, he never saw anything like the massive bull elk he spotted opening morning.

Zollman was watching about 60 cow elk and a dozen spikes on the ridge in front of him. While he was scoping the herd he noticed several cows looking back and decided to hold off to see whether another bull would show itself.

A moment later a 7-point bull stepped out of the trees, surrounded by cows.

With the bull in his sights he waited for the cows to disperse so that he could get aa clear shot, already planning a second shot in his head.

After the last cow stepped away he took the shot, dropping the big bull in its tracks.

Zollman was hunting with his wife, Cheryle, and their son, Greg, who was acting as guide on the trip, which ended only an hour after day break. After a big celebration, the trio went back to work in hopes of finding a 6-point bull that Cheryl had missed earlier in the morning.

"My timing was just right to push it out to Craig Zollman, who did not miss," Cheryle Zollman said of her own hunt.

Mike Zollman grew up in Wallowa County on the Boyd Ranch near Leap. His bother, Rick Boyd, now owns and operates the ranch. Zollman now works at the Boise Cascade particle board plant in La Grande.

Dave Carroll of La Grande gave Zollman's bull a green score of 366 on the Boone & Crockett scale. Marc McDowell of Eagle Cap Taxidermy will be doing a full mount of the trophy elk.

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