Princeton grandpa proud of grandson who drops first elk

Spencer Hughes poses with the 650-pound elk that he downed after a shot to the heart from about 220 yards away.  Photo provided by Jim Malcolm
Spencer Hughes poses with the 650-pound elk that he downed after a shot to the heart from about 220 yards away. Photo provided by Jim Malcolm

During his first-ever Elk hunting trip, Spencer Hughes was able to come away with the prize.
On Oct. 24, the third day of his hunting trip near Walden, Colorado with his grandpa Jim Malcolm, of Princeton, Spencer downed a 650-pound, 5×5 bull elk from his stand about 220 yards away.
“I heard branches breaking over my left shoulder and caught a glimpse of some antlers,” Spencer said.
The 16-year-old then waited for it to come out into an opening and when it did, at a trot, Spencer made a perfect heart shot.
“At first it was kind of a shock. I didn’t know what to do. It was a good feeling and I started to get out of my stand at first, but then I thought I should wait,” Spencer said. “Then I sat back down and could see my grandpa about 300 yards away, standing up in his stand and pumping his fist.”
It would be the only shots fired the entire nine-day hunting trip as Spencer, Jim and their group of eight others didn’t see another target.
“There are guys that go out there and hunt four, five, six years and never even see one,” Jim said. “[Spencer’s] a lucky guy.”
Spencer and Jim have experienced many hunting and fishing expeditions together, searching for salmon, pheasants, duck and deer, but this one turned out to be the most special yet.
“It was my favorite even though I didn’t shoot one,” Jim said proudly. “I told [Spencer] ‘this is the ultimate to see you shoot an elk.’”
“My grandfather always said he wanted to do this before his time ran out,” Spencer said. “I could see it in his eyes how much he loved it.”
Spencer also earned his drivers’ license that very same week when he returned to his home in Elk River.