Elk Hammock Tangled River

This large bull elk nearly drowned in the Big Wood River last week after becoming entangled in a hammock.

A team of Blaine County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Idaho Fish and Game officers rescued a large bull elk from the Big Wood River last week after the animal was found struggling to keep its head above water.

The elk had gotten its antlers wrapped up in a hammock, Fish and Game said. Deputies and Fish and Game staff moved the elk onto a nearby island Monday afternoon after determining that darting it on the spot was too risky given the time of day. Staff biologists returned to the scene shortly after daybreak on Tuesday and found the animal in the same area, Fish and Game stated.

“Fish and Game biologists arrived to dart the bull elk with an anesthetizing drug, allowing for the safe removal of the hammock from the elk antlers,” the department stated in a press release. “Within minutes of the injection of the reversal drug, the elk was back up and grazing on grasses.”

Fish and Game is reminding the public that elk and moose can catch their antlers on hammocks, electrical cords, wires, nets, swing sets and other household items, especially as the animals fight to establish dominance during fall rut season.

“Residents should be aware of things that can entangle in elk or moose antlers and store them in a safe area,” Conservation Officer Brandyn Hurd said.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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