Hannah Helmer played hooky Wednesday.
She and her dad, Joel, drove to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in Lincoln. It was time to get her monster elk scored.
After more than an hour of measuring by Randy Stutheit, the Nebraska big game trophy records coordinator, it’s official.
The bull elk, which the 14-year-old killed Sept. 24 on a Sioux County ranch in northwest Nebraska, is the state record. It will rank in the top 20 nationally for a nontypical rack.
“The official score was 430 and 6⁄8 of an inch,” Hannah said. “It’s amazing. I just can’t believe that happened to me.”
That was even higher than the 428 1⁄8 net green score done by her dad, an official Boone and Crockett scorer. The rack had to dry out 60 days before it was officially scored for the state record.
Nebraska has its own records program, and Hannah’s score will top those in the Big Game Trophy Records book. It surpassed the 409 7⁄8 for a nontypical elk, killed by Dana Foster of Ogallala in 2008 in Garden County. The typical record is 390 3⁄8.
Hannah felt like a celebrity on Wednesday. Game and Parks personnel flocked to the area to see the rack, taking pictures and asking about her hunt.
It’s been crazy ever since the story about her elk ran in The World-Herald. She’s received calls, letters and interview requests from around the country.
Her favorite letter was from Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts.
“He said congratulations and I hope you get the record,” Hannah said. “Thank your dad for taking you out.”