An Alberta Fish and Wildlife officer played the role of cowboy when he wrangled a bull elk whose antlers were entangled in a cable near Grande Prairie.

“It was probably wrapped ten to fifteen times around his antlers and had his ear pinned back,” said Fish and Wildlife Officer Cody Bruneau.

Two officers were called to a wheat field on Sept. 7 to find the elk trying to buck off hundreds of feet of the telecommunications wire. At one point the animal attempted to cross a range road that was under construction.

“He was kind of on the road and then crossing into a wheat field and then back on the road…and then back on the road and through the wheat field.” 

(Alberta Fish and Wildlife)

The officers thought of a unique plan to get the elk in range of a tranquilizer gun so they could knock it out and free it.

“With what can only be described as a combination of rodeo roping and deep sea fishing techniques, the officer used the cable to control and reel the elk out of the wheat field,” Fish and Wildlife wrote in a Facebook post. “Once it was within range, the officer quickly immobilized the elk and removed the cable from its antlers.”

(Alberta Fish and Wildlife)

As the elk slept, the officers also removed its antlers and marked it with a tag so that it would not be harvested while drugs were in its system.

An hour later, the large animal was released and headed south, back into the wilderness.

Fish and Wildlife is reminding the public not to intervene if they see wildlife in distress, and instead to call the nearest Fish and Wildlife officer or the 24-hour Report a Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800. 

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