Arizona Elk Freed After Month Long Ordeal

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Residents at Chapparal Pines Golf Course in Arizona had reported seeing an elk with something on its head. At first Game and Fish officials thought it was the base to a parking cone, but it ended up being the top of a trash container. Security guards at the golf course had a picture of the elk, and kept an eye on it. The elk didn't seem to be suffering too much, the biggest obstacle was lowering his head to eat.

Game and Fish Officials checked on the elk on Monday, but had to wait for one of their tranquilizer trained officers to come help. Jeff Gagnon, a wildlife biologist drove up from Camp Verde. Gagnon and Game and Fish wildlife manager David Daniels borrowed a resident's golf cart to approach the elk on the 8th hole. Gagnon made the shot from 30 yards away, once the elk was sedated they were able to saw off the trash can lid. They also gave the elk two ear tags, and then he was back in the wild. Daniels has been in this business for awhile and has seen odd things like this before, once a deer had a swing set ladder stuck on its head. From The Payson Roundup.


arrowflipper's picture


Wow, a month does seem like an awfully long time to let that animal go that way.  I guess he wasn't in much danger of dying so they just waited to see if maybe it might fall off.

I found it interesting that they "stalked" the bull on a golf cart.  I know that when I went moose hunting in Alaska, the guys that took me said you can get a lot closer to moose while riding on a four wheeler than if you were walking.  Maybe animals gain a fear of the shape of humans?

Over the years, I too have seen some crazy things with animals.  Any time animals are close to a populated area, crazy things are bound to happen.  I've seen deer with tangled barbed wire in their antlers and even what looked like cloths from someone's clothesline.

Glad the elk was set free from his tin covering.  Imagine what it must have sounded like to him when it rained?


niceshot_smitty's picture

This is a frist for me.  I

This is a frist for me.  I bet the elk just thought it was part of his new head gear. lol. Glad it end good for the elk .

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Yeah Hunter, I agree.  What

Yeah Hunter, I agree.  What took them so long?  Maybe they just couldn't find it, or when someone did spot it, he was gone before authorities got there.

Funny thing though, you wouldn't expect an elk to be the one with a trash can lid over it's head.  Maybe a bear, which is notorious for raiding trash cans, but an elk?  Maybe we will have to start keeping our food in lockable containers while in elk country too.... lol

Glad to see a happy ending.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Glad to see that they were

Glad to see that they were able to help him out.  But I too am curious why they waited a month to help if especially if he was having some issues eating.  After a month he could almost been to the point of starvation.

hunter25's picture

I'm surprised they waited a

I'm surprised they waited a month to get this thing off of him as it was unlikely it would come off by itself. Good to see it's gone now and caused no serious injury. I've heard of many similar situations. My friends dad killed a nice buck a few years ago right at dark and until they got up yo him thought he had gotten one with a bunch of trash points. As it turned out he had a string of Chriatmas lights wrapped up in his antlers. I guess You could still call them trash points though because that's where they ended up. I remember on the news a couple of years ago that they saved a duck or goose over by Denver somewhere that actually was walking around with an arrow stuck through it.

Animals can sure get into some crazy situations.