Hunters rescue tangled elk |

Hunters rescue tangled elk

Submitted by Keith McHugh
Special to the Daily/Cory & Carin Karitzmaire

On the closing day of the 2010 Colorado archery elk season, two local hunters – Todd Clark of Fairplay and Keith McHugh of Breckenridge – found themselves rescuing a trophy bull instead of hunting for one in Park County. The bull’s antlers had become tightly entangled in approximately 30 feet of discarded steel cable from an abandoned mining site. A pair of hikers – Cory and Karin Karitzmaire of Alma – initially found the ensnared elk and phoned a few people to assist in the release of the elk. Brandon Fischer and Remington Baker, also of Alma, arrived shortly after with some tools. After contacting the Division of Wildlife, the decision was made to cut the cable as close as possible to the bull elk. Using a small tree to separate himself from the bull, McHugh managed to slowly ease to within three feet of the very large bull , and while reaching around the spruce tree was eventually able to cut the cable with a pair of bolt cutters, freeing the bull.”I think it rather out of the ordinary that the two hunters that had been actively hunting this bull during the archery season were in the end a part of saving his life. Our hearts just sank when we walked up the trail and saw the huge bull tangled in the cable; we knew we had to do whatever we could to free him,” McHugh said. “The bull stood around awhile not realizing he was no longer tied up, then he slowly walked off. He even sounded a half-hearted bugle as he walked off. Maybe he was saying thanks to everyone who worked to get him free.”The bull has since been sighted several times in the past weeks following his rescue. Aside from having a section of cable still attached to its antlers, the bull seems to have recovered from his ordeal and seems to be doing well as he prepares for a long winter.

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