Avid bowhunters Jeff McConnell and Brant Hoover did get an elk this season, but it was not the one they had in mind. The two young men were hunting near McCall, Idaho late last month when they saw a distressing sight: an elk calf stuck in a mud wallow while its mother stood nearby. According to KTVB, the two hunters quickly dropped their gear and waded in to help.
“[The calf] was actually slapping her head and neck into the mud. I think to use it as leverage to get out,” said McConnell.
The calf’s cries for help stopped momentarily when it saw the men approach, and McConnell was the first to dive into the thigh-high mud. An elk cow paced nearby and the hunters grew increasingly worried that the calf’s mom might charge them if they took too long. The mud was thick and had a strong hold on the calf. The hunters were able to ease the animal out by rocking it back and forth until they had enough leverage to to pull the calf out by her hind legs.
“She stood up kind of slow like, ‘I can walk again,’ and looked back at us and kind of trotted off and then got to the trees and just kind of took off like crazy,” said McConnell.
McConnel and Hoover ended their catch-and-release elk hunt tired and covered in mud, but they were glad to help.
A video of the rescue can be found on KTVB’s site.