Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Record Elk Found Pinned Alive With Antlers Stuck in Mud

Record Elk Found Pinned Alive With Antlers Stuck in Mud

Mired_1a

Comments (68)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Dave Singley wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Man, this is one awesome story. The fact that MN DNR also helped get this one right only adds icing on the cake!

Thanks for this one gents.

+14 Good Comment? | | Report
from dasmith wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

It was a good thing he took photo's as no one would have believed this took place. Its nice that DNR gave him the rack, in most states he would have never seen it again. Should make News of the Weird.

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Great story.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Truly a one-of-a-kind story.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lucas Paul wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Its amasing how things happen like that great story...LP

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

i would imagine that a tiered old bull with a big old rack to knock his balance off could have a higher probability of ending up in a bad situation caused by irregular movement such as jumping a fence. This is a cool story and glad to see an animal of this stature go to someone deserving and under legal means.

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dog Face Clown wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Great Story.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from MaxPower wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Hey!!! Pic #14 is an EHJ hat, I've got the same one.

Oh, and cool story. I've freed deer and elk from fences before, but nothing like that and definitely nothing that big.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Wonder what happened to the meat.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from db270 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

I commend the hunter and the state. This type of awesome behavior should be a model to show anti's how many of us care for the animals we harvest. Great story with a good ending.

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dbetzner wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Definantly an interesting story, Its good to hear storys like this.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from gkrause66 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

What and incredible story and animal. hats off to the hunters who helped him out of the ground.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigfishguy wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Awsome! its funny how i was ough to see him die when you would have shot one like that in a heartbeatt. i dont care, but its just ironic.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from whitetailslayer2013 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Easily the best story i've ever read on this site truly amazing!!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

I want to say, to bad there wasn't a Horse Vet nearby, but what injuries and other internal damage don't think it would have made it.

Boone & Crockett, I'm under the impression it must be taken by legal means during a hunt for that species.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 7Derrick wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

@ Clay Copper, Boone & Crockettt has "found" horns entered in it though. But it does not allow "ranched (penned) animals." What an amazing story. LIke holy

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Lordy, lordy, what a rack!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wtlbuc.7 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Ryan is a hunter-not a killer! A one of a kind adventure. Was particularly impressed with the
Minnesota DNR's good help. Would all state DNR's
be that fair and helpful?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from GENO wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

That is one crazy story. I can't help but feel horrible for the elks suffering, but also happy that it went out the way it did, as opposed to still being stuck.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jimurray wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Great story and find.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from anrtge wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

One of the neatest stories I have read on here in a while.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lavehargett wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

This is a great story, but how can he have it legally entered for the largest elk ever taken in that state, when he never had an elk tag or it wasn't shot by him.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from cmrosko wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Since the elk was found stranded in a protected area I think it was wrong to proceed without the aid of Wildlife and animal rescue professionals. By acting as they did Muirhead and his group most likely further stressed the animal into extreme physical shock. Wildlife official most likely would have tranquilized the animal, cut off the antlers in order to free it and more adequately addressed any other medical or physical needs that the animal would have required for survival.

Clealry Muirhead's foremost intentions were to claim the undamaged trophy elk's rack, legally if possible. Why else would he have stalked and hovered around an animal in extreme shock and wait for it to die before calling wildlife and animal care professionals?

-17 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dhoovak wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

While I agree with cmrosko that Muirhead's intent was to obtain the trophy I do not agree that it was foremost in his mind. He first did the honorable thing which was to assist the animal and give it a chance to recover. How many hunters could do that and then watch as a recordbook elk just walks away into the woods? I hope the answer would be "most", but I'm not so sure. It was only when it became clear the elk was not going to make it that Muirhead contacted DNR. This is a great story and my congratulations go out to Ryan - he most certainly deserves the right to place it on the wall where it will live on in glory!

+12 Good Comment? | | Report
from Buddude2469 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

I would have reacted the same way that Mr. Muirhead did! He did what he could to help the animal. The fact that he went back to see if the animal was going to survive, I am fairly sure, had many thoughts involved with it. 1- I would want to see the recovery process if it did survive, 2- If it did not survive I would have tried to claim this gorgeous rack as well. Yes, we can sit here and judge him on the fact that he didn't immediately contact DNR officials, but we weren't in his shoes. At the time, I am sure he had a million thoughts going through his mind. Maybe he originally thought that the animal may actually survive, especially since it had traveled 600 yards back into the woods. I am neither agreeing or disagreeing with the actions he took, but merely giving some food for thought. I do think, however, that he did deserve the right to obtain the antlers and I also commend the DNR for awarding the antlers to him after the investigation. Awesome story either way you look at it! Thanks for sharing.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

That's a magnificent bull. good story too.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from swilmot1 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Muirhead conducted himself better then most would have done in this situation he knows in his head he did what he thought was the best for the elk and no none can tell him differently. Great Job

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from mooseman187 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

the record in utah is a planted elk not to many people know that

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from mooseman187 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

If that elk was in central utah it would have been poached, mossback productions off coarse

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jthomasfamily@c... wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Hard to believe it happened in MN. Awesome. Montana, Colorado, anywhere but MN. Great hunter, great DNR, great story.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dubyadd wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

To Every Thing There is a Season
Ecclesiastes 3

To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones,
and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.

AND a time to help, which is what this hunter did, too bad the buck did not make it but it was HIS TIME

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from sandsman1 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

i have never hunted in my life allways wanted to try it but thats another story -- thanks to an honest sportsman everything was done legal and a great story came from it -- id like to shake his hand for doing the right thing and showing young and old hunters what the sport is all about -- your a true sportsman Mr Muirhead

im sure theres some that would have shot him stuck to the ground and claimed the glory but we can all see your a better man then that -- WTG

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from milsky24 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Amazing story!! One of the best i have heard!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Karl Klavin wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

How can anybody get a joy and want to grin ear to ear while holding the head of a gorgeous creature? Men hunting with guns is anti-nature. You make the herds unhealthy because you kill the strong and leave the weak & sick. Sociopathic to love killing things. Survival is a different story. Get another hobby!

-12 Good Comment? | | Report
from lostboystaxidermy wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

i agree, db270. all these anti hunters think we dont care about animals that we hunt. that guy did the right thing. i have been dying to go elk hunting for a long time but even if had been allowed to shoot that animal i wouldnt have. its just not ethical. it was a beautiful elk, and im glade dnr gave him the rack. it shows the state appreciates the efforts of people like Muirhed to save the game we hunt as much as take it. my hats off to you Mr Muirhead

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Cbass wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

Sounds like the old bull will have ample room for his display. Nice find, Ryan!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jadda wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

That is one amazing rack and story!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from psetvv wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

I can't believe that a bull elk this size would have his antlers stuck in the mud. Looks more like he has his one leg caught in his antlers and could not get up.
psetvv

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from cici wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

MUD..? Really??? At "25 below"??? I'm not buying it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cici wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

POACHED

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Mitchell wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

this is what sportsmanship is all about.
Only a woodsman would understand.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Conservationist wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

First of all the DNR in NWMN has a terrible relationship with the public, so this story in itself is amazing because of the cooperation. i'm from the area and know the rancher that helped free the elk (very respectable), prior to this event he described the behavior with that bull as goofy, out of the normal and suspected that the old guy was on his last go around. "cmrosko" as far as animal rescue professionals to come to the rescue, in this real life situation in remote northern MN... I think the common sense approach to help the animal was about as good as an outcome as there could be. Yes there is such thing as mudd in december when your land is poorly drained with hydric soils. I'm sure it would have stayed planted there until the wolves got to him which wouldn't take long in that area. I know its easy to disbelieve a unique event such as this. but it happened and the good thing is...life goes on!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Conservationist wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

First of all the DNR in NWMN has a terrible relationship with the public so this story in itself is amazing because of the cooperation. I am from the area and know the rancher(very respectable), prior to this event he had seen the bull and described its behavior as goofy, said it looked like the old guy was on his last go round. So “cmrosko” as for calling in the animal rescue professionals, I think in this real life situation in a remote location, the common sense approach was about as good as an outcome as there could have been. There is such thing as mud in December. That area has poorly drained hydric soils, team that up with some packed snow and an old tired animal loaded with numerous points… it did happen, so if you don’t want to believe it that’s fine. That bull wouldn’t have lasted much longer if it weren’t for that group of people, in that area wolves are plentiful and would have made it a much more gruesome scene to stumble upon. I know it’s hard to believe a unique event like this but that fact is that it happened and people worked together to help this enormous old guy. The rack is just a bonus to the whole story.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

I understand nature is cruel, but if the MDNR knew the condition of this animal, why didn't they just kill it? Instead, it died a painful death while the rack seems to be the point of excitement. I can't say I blame the guy wanting the trophy rack,but I agree with the opinion that he probably had his sights set on getting it in the first place!AND what happened to the meat? Was it edible?

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from James Shirley wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

Mr Klavin don't know why you're on this blog if us outdoorsmen disgust you so, why don't YOU get another hobby! Anyway great story I applaud Minn DNR and Ryan is rightfully proud of his actions to help that Majestic Bull. Being able to keep the Head and antlers and mount them is a way for That Proud animal to live on in a way.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TCHMALL wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

At 25 degrees below zero they are saying the Elk was stuck in the Mud? Really? Mud? The ground would be hard as cement! The Antler would break before it went 8 to 10 inches into the ground. Also, in MN you can hang around for hours next to injured animals, approach them, take many pictures, add tons of stress to the animal and then claim the corpse once they expire? Sounds like a Ghoul! Why does this guy get to keep the Rack in a "Protected" area? Weird fish and game rules in MN. The whole thing doesn't sound right!

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blackdog112 wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

I agree with TCHMALL. Mud at -25? I don't buy it. Something is fishy here.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ZMar wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

I live in N. Mn. Did the doubters notice the snow. We had an open semi-warm fall and then big snows. Snow is an unbelievable insulator, especially light fluffy low water content we had about then. Bog areas in specific retain heat for a great deal of time and seldom freeze solid even in the coldest winters if covered. I feel deeply for the struggles of this fine animal, but it's time was due and it's demise was gruesome because it was witnessed and reported.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kittson Co Res wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

This is my take of this amazing story, having talked to local law enforcement, neighbors and even one of the ranchers involved.
The weather cooled off for the last weekend of muzzle loader hunting, before that the late fall had been quite mild, and the snow we had received earlier had insulated the ground quite well. The bull was an older and wore down animal, and when he crossed the fence it appears he had stumbled and landed upside down and was stuck, so that much of this sugar coated story is true, it seems as though Ryan sweetened up the story to sound as if he was the sportsman in this incident, but the real sportsman were the local ranchers that live in the area. A local rancher was the first one to come across this bull stuck in the ground, he stopped and looked over the situation, and then went to his neighbors yard to get some help and lumber to pry the animal from the ground. When the ranchers returned to the animal with the boards to free it, Ryan and his group were there then also, so he did help in freeing the animal, but it was the ranchers who had the plan to do it in the first place. After freeing the bull, it slowly made his way into the nearby woods and bedded down about 200 yards away, and moved around and bedded numerous times but only went about 300 yards total before he was foound dead two days later. By the sound of things Ryan camped out for the most time and watched the bull till it took it's last breath, then he called the CO to report he found a dead elk. We can only wonder why he didn't call the CO or Doc Mattson(the local vet only 30 minutes away)sooner since he was sitting there and watching the animal suffer and see if Doc Mattson or the CO could have helped the bull or stopped the suffering. Anyway after the DNR had checked over the elk, Ryan called to see about getting the head back and the DNR wasn't sure if they would give him possession of it or not, due to the fact that the DNR may want to retain possession of this majestic animal also to display and show to the people of MN. Now according to local law enforcement it sounds like Ryan threatened to take the DNR to court and fight for possession if they didn't give him the head for finding it, and the DNR decided that after the last couple years of some bad PR locally, that maybe the best thing was to give up the head, so that is what they did, and now Ryan is in possession of it.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dusty Bob wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

It's kind of a shame it had to suffer but the incident was certainly handled the right way. Congrats to all involved!
Dusty

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cmrosko wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

So maybe someone here who supports this guys efforts to obtain and claim the elk can explain to me how it was a better idea and less likely to cause injury to use a 2x4 under the head and neck of a thousand pound animal to work at prying it's antlers loose from the ground rather than to have just sawed the antlers off near the base?

Sounds to me like their choice of action very likely caused a serious neck or other injury and along with traumatic stress that significantly contributed to the elk's rapid death.

"Two things are infinite:... the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
- Albert Einstein

-5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hulucin8 wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

The article mentions several times that the elks antlers were "stuck in the mud". It also states that it was December 12th in Northern Minnesota with a temperature of 25 below zero. My question is How could there be any mud? Having lived in Iowa and North Dakota I'm not sure how physics applies in Minnesota, but wouldn't the ground would be frozen?

-4 Good Comment? | | Report
from chris4570 wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Safety comes first. A 2x4 allows for some distance between them and 1000lb wild animal.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chris4570 wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Just because the day the animal was found it was minus 25 doesn't mean it had been minus 25 for the previous 6, 7, 8, days.

I hunt a swampy area that has areas that seem to never freeze. My guess is the decaying vegetation is producing heat???

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from chris4570 wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Just because the day the animal was found it was minus 25 doesn't mean it had been minus 25 for the previous 6, 7, 8, days.

I hunt a swampy area that has areas that seem to never freeze. My guess is the decaying vegetation is producing heat???

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wayne Cooper wrote 3 years 1 week ago

" But nature didn’t put that barbed wire fence there,” he says.

Please...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fromthepeavine wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

What an awesome experience!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from OutdoorsDave wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Holy Cow (or should that be bull?) I would sure like to see that animal through my scope. Great job Ryan for doing the right thing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jeffrey.cote23@... wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

nice job glad to see that some people out there still practice good ethics

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from danny6114 wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

The world's record non-typical whitetail wasn't killed by a hunter but found and B&C recognized it, so this elk should qualify as well.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from billyjo bondurant wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

that was a smart idea to help get the elk unstuck.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from david park wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

this story is a travisty of hunting etics the farmer was the hero and if anyone was to get the elk other than the gov it should off been him i dont belive the elk would off died after it was released if taken care off properly the reason the antlers were not removed to free the elk was because it couldent be measured as a trophy a bad precident was set here a record elk was found dead trying to swim a lake in canada guess who has the elk? not the guy who tried to get it out off the lake before it died.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FishnFast wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Wonder how an Elk could manage to stick itself in the mud. Do they lay down on their side and grind antlers in the ground or what, never seen an animal lay on it's back unless pinned by another animal. Just curious.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Baileymade wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Wow, David must not read well since it said the elk most likely suffered fatal trauma just from the initial fall on his back. Seems to me if they were lacking ethics they would have simply left the bull. This is a great story about people trying to do the right thing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnadams wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

The individuals involved in this incident are suspect. The animals neck was likely broken in their "attempt to release the animal."

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tomterrymcphee@... wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

I don't know the surcomestances around the whole thing, but I feel sorry that the beautiful elk had to suffer so much. I can't be a judge because I wasen't there, just glad that the meat was useable for someone. I wish it was me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WesMcCormick wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

I would love to see all the doubters actions in the same situation!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 357 wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

good for that men, doing his best for that animal.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Dave Singley wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Man, this is one awesome story. The fact that MN DNR also helped get this one right only adds icing on the cake!

Thanks for this one gents.

+14 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dhoovak wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

While I agree with cmrosko that Muirhead's intent was to obtain the trophy I do not agree that it was foremost in his mind. He first did the honorable thing which was to assist the animal and give it a chance to recover. How many hunters could do that and then watch as a recordbook elk just walks away into the woods? I hope the answer would be "most", but I'm not so sure. It was only when it became clear the elk was not going to make it that Muirhead contacted DNR. This is a great story and my congratulations go out to Ryan - he most certainly deserves the right to place it on the wall where it will live on in glory!

+12 Good Comment? | | Report
from dasmith wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

It was a good thing he took photo's as no one would have believed this took place. Its nice that DNR gave him the rack, in most states he would have never seen it again. Should make News of the Weird.

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from db270 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

I commend the hunter and the state. This type of awesome behavior should be a model to show anti's how many of us care for the animals we harvest. Great story with a good ending.

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

i would imagine that a tiered old bull with a big old rack to knock his balance off could have a higher probability of ending up in a bad situation caused by irregular movement such as jumping a fence. This is a cool story and glad to see an animal of this stature go to someone deserving and under legal means.

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kittson Co Res wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

This is my take of this amazing story, having talked to local law enforcement, neighbors and even one of the ranchers involved.
The weather cooled off for the last weekend of muzzle loader hunting, before that the late fall had been quite mild, and the snow we had received earlier had insulated the ground quite well. The bull was an older and wore down animal, and when he crossed the fence it appears he had stumbled and landed upside down and was stuck, so that much of this sugar coated story is true, it seems as though Ryan sweetened up the story to sound as if he was the sportsman in this incident, but the real sportsman were the local ranchers that live in the area. A local rancher was the first one to come across this bull stuck in the ground, he stopped and looked over the situation, and then went to his neighbors yard to get some help and lumber to pry the animal from the ground. When the ranchers returned to the animal with the boards to free it, Ryan and his group were there then also, so he did help in freeing the animal, but it was the ranchers who had the plan to do it in the first place. After freeing the bull, it slowly made his way into the nearby woods and bedded down about 200 yards away, and moved around and bedded numerous times but only went about 300 yards total before he was foound dead two days later. By the sound of things Ryan camped out for the most time and watched the bull till it took it's last breath, then he called the CO to report he found a dead elk. We can only wonder why he didn't call the CO or Doc Mattson(the local vet only 30 minutes away)sooner since he was sitting there and watching the animal suffer and see if Doc Mattson or the CO could have helped the bull or stopped the suffering. Anyway after the DNR had checked over the elk, Ryan called to see about getting the head back and the DNR wasn't sure if they would give him possession of it or not, due to the fact that the DNR may want to retain possession of this majestic animal also to display and show to the people of MN. Now according to local law enforcement it sounds like Ryan threatened to take the DNR to court and fight for possession if they didn't give him the head for finding it, and the DNR decided that after the last couple years of some bad PR locally, that maybe the best thing was to give up the head, so that is what they did, and now Ryan is in possession of it.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from gkrause66 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

What and incredible story and animal. hats off to the hunters who helped him out of the ground.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Truly a one-of-a-kind story.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dog Face Clown wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Great Story.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Wonder what happened to the meat.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from wtlbuc.7 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Ryan is a hunter-not a killer! A one of a kind adventure. Was particularly impressed with the
Minnesota DNR's good help. Would all state DNR's
be that fair and helpful?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Buddude2469 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

I would have reacted the same way that Mr. Muirhead did! He did what he could to help the animal. The fact that he went back to see if the animal was going to survive, I am fairly sure, had many thoughts involved with it. 1- I would want to see the recovery process if it did survive, 2- If it did not survive I would have tried to claim this gorgeous rack as well. Yes, we can sit here and judge him on the fact that he didn't immediately contact DNR officials, but we weren't in his shoes. At the time, I am sure he had a million thoughts going through his mind. Maybe he originally thought that the animal may actually survive, especially since it had traveled 600 yards back into the woods. I am neither agreeing or disagreeing with the actions he took, but merely giving some food for thought. I do think, however, that he did deserve the right to obtain the antlers and I also commend the DNR for awarding the antlers to him after the investigation. Awesome story either way you look at it! Thanks for sharing.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from chris4570 wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Just because the day the animal was found it was minus 25 doesn't mean it had been minus 25 for the previous 6, 7, 8, days.

I hunt a swampy area that has areas that seem to never freeze. My guess is the decaying vegetation is producing heat???

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Great story.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lucas Paul wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Its amasing how things happen like that great story...LP

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dbetzner wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Definantly an interesting story, Its good to hear storys like this.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigfishguy wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Awsome! its funny how i was ough to see him die when you would have shot one like that in a heartbeatt. i dont care, but its just ironic.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from whitetailslayer2013 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Easily the best story i've ever read on this site truly amazing!!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from GENO wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

That is one crazy story. I can't help but feel horrible for the elks suffering, but also happy that it went out the way it did, as opposed to still being stuck.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from swilmot1 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Muirhead conducted himself better then most would have done in this situation he knows in his head he did what he thought was the best for the elk and no none can tell him differently. Great Job

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dubyadd wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

To Every Thing There is a Season
Ecclesiastes 3

To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones,
and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.

AND a time to help, which is what this hunter did, too bad the buck did not make it but it was HIS TIME

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from sandsman1 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

i have never hunted in my life allways wanted to try it but thats another story -- thanks to an honest sportsman everything was done legal and a great story came from it -- id like to shake his hand for doing the right thing and showing young and old hunters what the sport is all about -- your a true sportsman Mr Muirhead

im sure theres some that would have shot him stuck to the ground and claimed the glory but we can all see your a better man then that -- WTG

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Conservationist wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

First of all the DNR in NWMN has a terrible relationship with the public, so this story in itself is amazing because of the cooperation. i'm from the area and know the rancher that helped free the elk (very respectable), prior to this event he described the behavior with that bull as goofy, out of the normal and suspected that the old guy was on his last go around. "cmrosko" as far as animal rescue professionals to come to the rescue, in this real life situation in remote northern MN... I think the common sense approach to help the animal was about as good as an outcome as there could be. Yes there is such thing as mudd in december when your land is poorly drained with hydric soils. I'm sure it would have stayed planted there until the wolves got to him which wouldn't take long in that area. I know its easy to disbelieve a unique event such as this. but it happened and the good thing is...life goes on!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Conservationist wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

First of all the DNR in NWMN has a terrible relationship with the public so this story in itself is amazing because of the cooperation. I am from the area and know the rancher(very respectable), prior to this event he had seen the bull and described its behavior as goofy, said it looked like the old guy was on his last go round. So “cmrosko” as for calling in the animal rescue professionals, I think in this real life situation in a remote location, the common sense approach was about as good as an outcome as there could have been. There is such thing as mud in December. That area has poorly drained hydric soils, team that up with some packed snow and an old tired animal loaded with numerous points… it did happen, so if you don’t want to believe it that’s fine. That bull wouldn’t have lasted much longer if it weren’t for that group of people, in that area wolves are plentiful and would have made it a much more gruesome scene to stumble upon. I know it’s hard to believe a unique event like this but that fact is that it happened and people worked together to help this enormous old guy. The rack is just a bonus to the whole story.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wayne Cooper wrote 3 years 1 week ago

" But nature didn’t put that barbed wire fence there,” he says.

Please...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MaxPower wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Hey!!! Pic #14 is an EHJ hat, I've got the same one.

Oh, and cool story. I've freed deer and elk from fences before, but nothing like that and definitely nothing that big.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 7Derrick wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

@ Clay Copper, Boone & Crockettt has "found" horns entered in it though. But it does not allow "ranched (penned) animals." What an amazing story. LIke holy

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lavehargett wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

This is a great story, but how can he have it legally entered for the largest elk ever taken in that state, when he never had an elk tag or it wasn't shot by him.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

That's a magnificent bull. good story too.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jthomasfamily@c... wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Hard to believe it happened in MN. Awesome. Montana, Colorado, anywhere but MN. Great hunter, great DNR, great story.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from milsky24 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Amazing story!! One of the best i have heard!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lostboystaxidermy wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

i agree, db270. all these anti hunters think we dont care about animals that we hunt. that guy did the right thing. i have been dying to go elk hunting for a long time but even if had been allowed to shoot that animal i wouldnt have. its just not ethical. it was a beautiful elk, and im glade dnr gave him the rack. it shows the state appreciates the efforts of people like Muirhed to save the game we hunt as much as take it. my hats off to you Mr Muirhead

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Mitchell wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

this is what sportsmanship is all about.
Only a woodsman would understand.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from James Shirley wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

Mr Klavin don't know why you're on this blog if us outdoorsmen disgust you so, why don't YOU get another hobby! Anyway great story I applaud Minn DNR and Ryan is rightfully proud of his actions to help that Majestic Bull. Being able to keep the Head and antlers and mount them is a way for That Proud animal to live on in a way.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ZMar wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

I live in N. Mn. Did the doubters notice the snow. We had an open semi-warm fall and then big snows. Snow is an unbelievable insulator, especially light fluffy low water content we had about then. Bog areas in specific retain heat for a great deal of time and seldom freeze solid even in the coldest winters if covered. I feel deeply for the struggles of this fine animal, but it's time was due and it's demise was gruesome because it was witnessed and reported.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chris4570 wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Safety comes first. A 2x4 allows for some distance between them and 1000lb wild animal.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chris4570 wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

Just because the day the animal was found it was minus 25 doesn't mean it had been minus 25 for the previous 6, 7, 8, days.

I hunt a swampy area that has areas that seem to never freeze. My guess is the decaying vegetation is producing heat???

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from danny6114 wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

The world's record non-typical whitetail wasn't killed by a hunter but found and B&C recognized it, so this elk should qualify as well.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from billyjo bondurant wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

that was a smart idea to help get the elk unstuck.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tomterrymcphee@... wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

I don't know the surcomestances around the whole thing, but I feel sorry that the beautiful elk had to suffer so much. I can't be a judge because I wasen't there, just glad that the meat was useable for someone. I wish it was me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

I want to say, to bad there wasn't a Horse Vet nearby, but what injuries and other internal damage don't think it would have made it.

Boone & Crockett, I'm under the impression it must be taken by legal means during a hunt for that species.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Lordy, lordy, what a rack!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jimurray wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Great story and find.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from anrtge wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

One of the neatest stories I have read on here in a while.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Cbass wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

Sounds like the old bull will have ample room for his display. Nice find, Ryan!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jadda wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

That is one amazing rack and story!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cici wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

MUD..? Really??? At "25 below"??? I'm not buying it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dusty Bob wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

It's kind of a shame it had to suffer but the incident was certainly handled the right way. Congrats to all involved!
Dusty

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fromthepeavine wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

What an awesome experience!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from OutdoorsDave wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Holy Cow (or should that be bull?) I would sure like to see that animal through my scope. Great job Ryan for doing the right thing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jeffrey.cote23@... wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

nice job glad to see that some people out there still practice good ethics

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from david park wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

this story is a travisty of hunting etics the farmer was the hero and if anyone was to get the elk other than the gov it should off been him i dont belive the elk would off died after it was released if taken care off properly the reason the antlers were not removed to free the elk was because it couldent be measured as a trophy a bad precident was set here a record elk was found dead trying to swim a lake in canada guess who has the elk? not the guy who tried to get it out off the lake before it died.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Baileymade wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Wow, David must not read well since it said the elk most likely suffered fatal trauma just from the initial fall on his back. Seems to me if they were lacking ethics they would have simply left the bull. This is a great story about people trying to do the right thing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WesMcCormick wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

I would love to see all the doubters actions in the same situation!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 357 wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

good for that men, doing his best for that animal.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

I understand nature is cruel, but if the MDNR knew the condition of this animal, why didn't they just kill it? Instead, it died a painful death while the rack seems to be the point of excitement. I can't say I blame the guy wanting the trophy rack,but I agree with the opinion that he probably had his sights set on getting it in the first place!AND what happened to the meat? Was it edible?

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FishnFast wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Wonder how an Elk could manage to stick itself in the mud. Do they lay down on their side and grind antlers in the ground or what, never seen an animal lay on it's back unless pinned by another animal. Just curious.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnadams wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

The individuals involved in this incident are suspect. The animals neck was likely broken in their "attempt to release the animal."

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mooseman187 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

the record in utah is a planted elk not to many people know that

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from mooseman187 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

If that elk was in central utah it would have been poached, mossback productions off coarse

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from psetvv wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

I can't believe that a bull elk this size would have his antlers stuck in the mud. Looks more like he has his one leg caught in his antlers and could not get up.
psetvv

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from cici wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

POACHED

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from TCHMALL wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

At 25 degrees below zero they are saying the Elk was stuck in the Mud? Really? Mud? The ground would be hard as cement! The Antler would break before it went 8 to 10 inches into the ground. Also, in MN you can hang around for hours next to injured animals, approach them, take many pictures, add tons of stress to the animal and then claim the corpse once they expire? Sounds like a Ghoul! Why does this guy get to keep the Rack in a "Protected" area? Weird fish and game rules in MN. The whole thing doesn't sound right!

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blackdog112 wrote 3 years 5 weeks ago

I agree with TCHMALL. Mud at -25? I don't buy it. Something is fishy here.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hulucin8 wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

The article mentions several times that the elks antlers were "stuck in the mud". It also states that it was December 12th in Northern Minnesota with a temperature of 25 below zero. My question is How could there be any mud? Having lived in Iowa and North Dakota I'm not sure how physics applies in Minnesota, but wouldn't the ground would be frozen?

-4 Good Comment? | | Report
from cmrosko wrote 3 years 4 weeks ago

So maybe someone here who supports this guys efforts to obtain and claim the elk can explain to me how it was a better idea and less likely to cause injury to use a 2x4 under the head and neck of a thousand pound animal to work at prying it's antlers loose from the ground rather than to have just sawed the antlers off near the base?

Sounds to me like their choice of action very likely caused a serious neck or other injury and along with traumatic stress that significantly contributed to the elk's rapid death.

"Two things are infinite:... the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
- Albert Einstein

-5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Karl Klavin wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

How can anybody get a joy and want to grin ear to ear while holding the head of a gorgeous creature? Men hunting with guns is anti-nature. You make the herds unhealthy because you kill the strong and leave the weak & sick. Sociopathic to love killing things. Survival is a different story. Get another hobby!

-12 Good Comment? | | Report
from cmrosko wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Since the elk was found stranded in a protected area I think it was wrong to proceed without the aid of Wildlife and animal rescue professionals. By acting as they did Muirhead and his group most likely further stressed the animal into extreme physical shock. Wildlife official most likely would have tranquilized the animal, cut off the antlers in order to free it and more adequately addressed any other medical or physical needs that the animal would have required for survival.

Clealry Muirhead's foremost intentions were to claim the undamaged trophy elk's rack, legally if possible. Why else would he have stalked and hovered around an animal in extreme shock and wait for it to die before calling wildlife and animal care professionals?

-17 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

1 of 18

Additional Info

When Ryan Muirhead set out to fill his whitetail tag on the final day of Minnesota’s muzzleloader season, he never imagined he would stumble upon a huge 9 x 10 elk with antlers that may rewrite the record books. The way he found the animal is even more extraordinary…it was pinned flat on its back with its antlers stuck in the mud. Steve Hill talked to Muirhead and got the amazing story of this record-book elk, how he freed it and got to keep the trophy rack.

bmxbiz-fs