Elk NetworkEntangled Bull Elk Rescued by Deputy Hunters

General | October 13, 2023

Leave it to a couple of hunters to come to the rescue of a young bull elk, tangled in a tree swing, although these hunters were also badge-wearing members of law enforcement.

It happened in western Washington south of Seattle. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department received a call about an injured animal. Unfortunately, there were no wildlife biologists or wardens available so two deputies answered the call. According to the News Tribune, they were also hunters.

As they approached, they saw a young bull elk running back and forth with its antlers entangled in a rope swing attached to a tree. Exhausted with its tongue hanging out, the deputies acted to help the animal. They got a garden rake, duct tape and tree pruners and finagled a tool to free the bull.

“Good boy, good boy. Easy partner,” one of the deputies said to try to calm the elk as he cut a rope.

Body cam video then showed the bull lower its head and make a run at the deputy, who quickly jumped and rolled out of harm’s way. Undeterred, he attached a knife to the end of the rake to create a long-handled saw and cut the bull free, which ran off into the woods.

“I know, we could have used a tranquilizer, but we didn’t have Fish and Wildlife or game wardens available,” Sgt. Darren Moss, Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman, said on a Facebook video that showed the incident. “And honestly the deputies did a great job of using their tools or what they could borrow to cut this guy down so that he wasn’t gonna hurt himself or stay tied to that swing and end up dying out there.”

Moss praised the deputies and pointed out their unique hunting backgrounds helped them navigate the situation.

“This call couldn’t have been answered by anyone else in the department,” Moss told News Tribune.

(Photo credit: Pierce County Sheriff’s Department)