On the evening of Sept. 20th of 2020, Shawn O’Shea found himself in the elk woods of Alberta near his home. An accomplished whitetail guide, O’Shea’s ability to find and hunt elk can not be understated. That evening he made his way to a blind he had hunted multiple times that year. As the evening drew on the luck of the Irish may have been smiling on O’Shea.

Out of the “bush”, a massive bull appeared. The bull stood for quite some time, giving the bow hunter enough time to calm his nerves. At that point, the bull turned at a quartering away angle at roughly 18 yards and O’Shea made good use of his chance. I believe it’s best to let O’Shea tell the story about the shot:

“He stood there for maybe five minutes. I couldn’t even move because he would have seen me. But the wind was right so I didn’t have to worry, and as long as he didn’t detect movement, I was good. He was 18 yards, ish. I was shaking when he first came out, but he stood there so long that I was able to gain my composure. I never looked at his horns. I knew what he was. I just looked at his body and focused on the shot. I concentrated on that crease, and when he turned slightly quartering away, I was able to draw, let a little chirp out, and let the arrow go.” – Shawn O’Shea

Recovering the O’Shea Bull

After the shot, the excited bowhunter backed out of the area and called his sons to join him in looking for the bull. During that time the hunter’s thoughts played out what had just happened. He knew the bull was a big bull but he was unsure just how big it actually was. After waiting about an hour the group moved towards the area the bull was shot. The tracking was performed and the bull was found about 150 yards from where he was shot. Subsequently, the group celebrated and took some photos of the bull.

The successful bow hunter with his World Record bull.

A Record Book Bull

Soon after the harvest, a neighbor came over to take a look at the bull, he brought with him a Boone & Crockett official scorer.  The scorer rough scored the bull well north of 420″ this was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime type bull. Shawn debated what to do with the massive bull:

“After we got some preliminary scores, we kept debating about whether to have it officially scored or not. We wanted to know, but I’m not much for attention. It’s not my thing, put it that way.” – Shawn O’Shea

COVID sanctions made scoring the bull tricky. Originally the Pope & Young thought it would be best to have the bull shipped to them in Minnesota. However, how do you put a monetary value on something so rare? During a discussion with the Pope & Young the decision to convene a scoring panel in Regina, Saskatchewan was decided on. Shawn then drove the giant bull to the neighboring province to have it scored. At that scoring panel, the bull officially scored 449 4/8″. That score beat out the standing record of 442″ set by Nick Franklin’s bull. You can read about Franklin’s bull by clicking here.

As a final note Shawn had this to say:

“I’ll allow that there was a little bit of luck involved, a lot. But I’ll tell you what. We ground hard for him. I and my boys were out there every day and every night for 14 days of the season. I’ll generally hunt every day of bow season, every day of September. And I’m out in the bush trapping coyotes in the winter and doing nuisance beaver trapping for the county. So I’m out there every day. Every single day.” – Shawn O’Shea


You can check out Shawn’s bull by going to the Pope & Young website which can be found by clicking here. Likewise, you can read more about some of the other Legends of the Past, including other record book animals, that we have covered by clicking here.

What do you think of Shawn’s Bull? have you ever taken a Record Book animal? Let us know in the comments!

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