Eric Luedke shows off the five-by-five bull elk he shot in rural Phillips County last Wednesday.

Elk hunting is closer to home than you think

Luedke shoots bull elk in rural Phillips County

    Don’t think elk live in Phillips County? Think again!
    Eric Luedke of Holyoke shot a five-by-five bull elk near the Phillips County landfill several miles west of Holyoke last Wednesday, Nov. 1.
    “I couldn’t believe it!” he said after getting the first elk in his hunting career.
    Last year, Luedke spotted a similar elk in rural Yuma County, but since he didn’t have a tag, he couldn’t shoot it.
    This year he was prepared. Luedke purchased an over-the-counter tag in the spring so that if he saw an elk during hunting season, he could legally shoot it.
    While at work at Highline Electric Association last Wednesday, Luedke heard that an elk was sighted southwest of Holyoke. It didn’t take him long to get permission to leave work, grab his gun and start the hunt.
    He parked by public hunting ground near the Frenchman Creek. “I walked straight to him,” said Luedke, noting it only took an hour to find the lone elk.
    Using a 7 mm rifle, Luedke shot freehanded and got the roughly 800-pound bull elk from about 50 yards away.
    He immediately notified District Wildlife Manager Kyle Gordon as well as some friends who could help him prep and load the elk.
    “We have a couple of elk herds out here,” said Gordon, not surprised that a local hunter would snag one of the elk. However, it was rare and lucky to find one on land open to public hunting, he said.

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