Gary Buckingham of Rapid City took this bull elk early on Sept. 21 in Butte County, in what he called "the hunt of a lifetime." 

Buckingham and his son, Garrett, heard the elk bugling and briefly spotted it the previous night in a small clearing.

"There wasn't enough time to put a hunt on him, because it was getting too dark," Buckingham said.

They walked back to the same area early the next morning, spotting the elk from a nearby ridge. Gary fired from about 110 yards away, needing two shots to complete the kill.

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The elk garnered a Safari Club International gross score of 342-1/8, Buckingham said.

"It's a trophy bull. It's big, but it's not even near a state record," Buckingham said. "I've been hunting elk for 24 years. I've gone to Wyoming, I've hunted elk in South Dakota.

"This is my dream hunt."

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