Friday, February 10, 2012

RIP Old Buddy

The Boxley Beast in 2010
I am sad to report that the Boxley Beast was killed in this year's elk hunt. This big guy furnished me with hundreds of hours of enjoyment, as he did thousands of visitors from many states. I photographed him over 5 years and have thousands of images of him. He is on my business card.

Killing him offered a fraction of a second's satisfaction to the hunter -- about the same time taken by my camera's shutter. The distinction, of course, is that I experienced thousands of those fractions of seconds across many years, and so did many others, many from other states.

The Beast was perhaps the biggest bull elk ever in Arkansas. He lost an eye guard in his famous YouTube fight with Godzilla. If he had not, his rack would have been the largest on record I am told in Arkansas. He lost that eye guard fighting the bull that ended up on the cover of the special elk issue of Arkansas Wildlife Magazine -- Godzilla. In what was probably his last real bull fight, he kicked Godzilla's tail. We have it on video.

The saddest part of the elk hunt is that in an instant it destroys wildlife watching resources that create tourism and jobs in our region. This is the elk version of killing the golden goose in an instant, depriving visitors from many states of outstanding wildlife watching for years.  It is plain wrong, poor policy, and not real hunting of wild animals.


  1. ouch! small herd...small state ( for elk )

  2. I am sorry to hear of the loss of this great bull.

    I recently found your blog while searching for comparative information on the elk herds in Pennsylvania (where I live), Arkansas, Michigan, and Kentucky.

    I write the Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer Blog, which concentrates on Pennsylvania elk and whitetail deer photography and conservation issues.

    We face the same problems here and many are opposed to the manner in which our elk hunt is conducted too and for the same reasons you expressed , but there seems to be little hope for positive change, at least in the short term.

    We lost two of the monster bulls that frequent our prime tourist areas this year during the PA elk hunt. A year ago one was killed that had no fear of humans whatsoever and it was written up in Pennsylvania Game News as a challenging, thrilling hunt.

    Keep up the good work and I will keep checking on your blog and web page.

  3. I am curious how far out of the valley was the boxley beast when he was killed? I have enjoyed watching him for several seasons.I enjoy your blog. PA

    1. I don't know for sure, but I think it was in a field up Cave Mountain Road. If true, that would only be a mile or two away from the valley.


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