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Last week’s announcement by the Boone and Crockett Club that Idaho hunter Denny Austad’s huge “Spider Bull” is its new world record for elk has certainly caused quite a stir.

The story on the bull, as related in my Montana Outdoors column on Thursday, was that Austad shot the bull in a limited entry hunting unit in Utah, used a team of guides, scouts and spotters to help him hunt it and, in the process, filled the Utah governor’s tag he paid almost $170,000 for at auction which allowed him to hunt with a rifle even though others in the unit were limited to archery equipment or muzzleloaders during the time he was in the field.

In making its announcement, the Boone and Crockett Club said it had determined that not only had the elk been taken legally off of public ground, but that the hunt met the ethical standards for fair chase.

In this week’s GazOutdoors.com Poll, we’ll ask, “Was the Boone and Crockett Club correct in calling the circumstances surrounding the taking of the new world record elk, the Spider Bull, a fair chase hunt?” Add your comments to the poll’s blog post at www.GazOutdoors.com.

Last week’s Poll asked, “What species of fish are you most likely to be targeting when you go ice fishing?” Results varied a lot with 40 percent of voters saying walleye, 21 percent saying rainbow trout, 16 percent for perch, 7 percent each for northern pike and crappie, 5 percent for kokanee salmon and 2 percent each for lake trout and burbot (ling).

No doubt about it. That’s definitely a mixed bag. – Mark Henckel, Gazette Outdoors editor.

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