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Elk Head Stolen After Soldier's Hunting Trip

By Dominic Garcia

EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- The Eagle County Sheriff's Office is looking into who stole an elk head from a hunter who bagged his first elk.

Army Specialist Taran Nystrom is stationed at Fort Carson and was on vacation hunting outside of Gypsum. It was a trip he had spent months planning.

stolen elk head (2)
(credit: Taran Nystrom)

"You have to plan months in advance, you have to plan for the weather up there. You have to plan for an emergency if you're back there 15-20 miles in the back country. There's no one around," he told CBS4's Dominic Garcia.

In the early morning hours of Friday, Oct. 20, Nystrom returned to his vehicle around 2 a.m. after several days of hunting and hauling his harvest of a 6 x 6 bull elk out of the backcountry only to discover that his belongings had been moved and the bull elk head stolen out of the back of his truck. It was the first elk he had ever killed.
"Extremely crushed. Whenever you put so much effort into something and it just feels like it's just torn from you," said Nystrom.

stolen elk head (1)
(credit: Taran Nystrom)

Now the Eagle County Sheriff is involved, trying to find who stole the elk head. In a release, the department said this type of theft is simply not acceptable or common in our area according to detectives and local agencies are hoping to help spread the word.

The Arkansas native says, "It was a great sense of accomplishment and appreciation to the animal to be able to provide food on the table as in the same environment I was fortunate to grow up in."

stolen elk head (3)
(credit: Taran Nystrom)

He thinks the person who stole it either wanted the antlers to sell, or it's someone who doesn't want hunters in the area. He doesn't think an animal took it because the tags he put on it were torn off and left behind.

"I hope we can find the person that did it. I truly believe that's wrong on so many levels, It takes a real low person to do that."

Dominic Garcia anchors CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and reports for CBS4 News at 10 p.m. Connect with the Denver native on Twitter @cbs4dom & on Facebook.


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