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Hunter nearly dies after being gored in the neck by dead elk

Published September 9, 2013 5:46 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A hunter nearly died after he accidentally punctured his neck with the antler of an elk he had just killed Saturday in Uintah County.

Bradley Greenwood, 51, killed a large bull elk Saturday morning in the Davenport Draw area of Diamond Mountain, east of Vernal. Greenwood, of Lehi, tried to roll the elk over, but the elk was bigger than he thought — about 600 to 700 pounds, Undersheriff John Laursen estimated. One of the antlers plunged into his face behind his jaw, stabbing downward into his neck.

Greenwood called 911 for help, saying his neck was swelling and he was struggling to breathe. Laursen said the wound likely had become inflamed.

"I can't picture how clean an elk horn would be," Laursen said. "I'm guessing there's some bacteria in there."

Rescuers found Greenwood and flew him to Ashley Regional Medical Center to be stabilized. Medics placed a tube into his trachea to keep it open, Laursen said; nurses have reported the intubation likely saved Greenwood's life.

Greenwood later was flown to Utah Valley Medical Center for surgery. As of Monday afternoon, he was able to speak and was expected to recover fully, Laursen said.