The Bull That's Never Been Seen
Photography by Isaac Nelson
We were shocked. It was from a bull we’d never seen, a bull significantly larger than any we’d ever laid eyes on, one that had evaded wolves and hunters for many years. We were new to shed hunting, but we were hooked.
Fast forward to today, and the pursuit of shed antlers has taken the outdoor community by storm. Many are fueled by monetary motivations. For others, there’s a greater purpose behind shed hunting. For my friends and I, it’s a way to learn about the elk we pursue in the fall—their travel patterns relative to weather conditions, which animals survived hunting season, and a way to identify bulls we never knew existed.
Bull elk often return to the same areas each winter. Human activity and weather can be factors; however, it’s not uncommon to find multiple years of shed antlers off of one bull elk in a relatively small area.
Isaac is a self-taught photographer specializing in hunting and mountain sports. He has a strong affinity for backcountry experiences, and when not behind the lens, can be found scouting for his next hunt, or at home in Bozeman, Montana.