Interesting case, sounds like all involved have been doing some great forensic/research work.
However I find it odd that the elk were ingesting the lichen in the first place considering that it is in the soil. Perhaps a long dry winter was driving them to eat stuff they normally don't in high quantities.
It is good to know it is something common causing the issue. Speculation was running wild that it was human poisoning, some new form of cwd, a new diesease, alien abuduction, etc.... I had even read people theorizing that the elk in true lemming style had just "run themselves to death".
Just about every hunter who has hunted big game animals has used a rope to drag his game. Over the years I have seen many kinds and sizes used for this purpose. One of my friends brought a deer to my house to hang in my garage for butchering, and he had a 1” hemp rope that was at least 12 feet long on it. It was large enough to tow a truck! Another time I saw a guy stuffing an entire 50-foot coil of that stiff, plastic rope into his pocket to use as a dragging rope.I have found that the ideal...