Elk NetworkElk ‘Swallowed by the Earth,’ Leads to Strenuous Field Dressing

General | October 29, 2018

A solo elk hunter from Wisconsin was thrilled to shoot a nice bull in Arizona’s Kaibab National Forest. He wasn’t so thrilled with what he discovered after hiking down into a canyon, crossing its narrow valley and climbing up the other side.

“I walked up and admired the bull, but then cursed its final resting spot, loudly and justly,” wrote Patrick Durkin in USA Today Network-Wisconsin. “It had slid into a tree throw, the pit created when large trees tip over with all surrounding soil ensnared in their roots. This would be a long night.”

Unable to move the carcass, Durkin went to work with his knives and bone saw, removing the elk piece by piece.

“When I returned to camp with the antlers and cape, my watch read 2:53 a.m. And when I awoke three hours later, I made coffee and oatmeal, and returned to the kill site to continue my chores, wrote Durkin. “I hauled meat from the canyon till dark, cached it overnight atop the rim about a third-mile from camp, and finished the chore Sunday morning with my game cart. And then I plopped into a chair, mixed a quart of Gatorade, drank it dry and snapped a salute toward the distant canyon wall.”

Go here to read about Durkin’s hunt.

(Photo source: Patrick Durkin)