Mark David was an Oregon bow hunter who shot and injured an elk but was gored to death by the same animal the following day. The 66-year-old man from Hillsboro was killed on Sunday, August 30, during a hunting trip on private land near Tillamook, a city on the Oregon coast just 75 miles west of Portland.
The Statesman Journal reported that David was killed on Sunday when he returned to try to locate and kill an elk he’d shot the day before. The season for archery hunting of elk is from the end of August until the end of September, according to the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. Roosevelt elk, which is the subspecies of elk commonly found in western Oregon, is the third-largest type of land mammal found in North America, with bull elk weighing from 700 to 1,100 pounds.
David Was Killed on Sunday When the Elk He’d Injured the Day Before Gored Him With His Antlers; the Elk Was Later Killed & the Meat Donated
Oregon State Police told the Statesman that David was archery hunting on Saturday near Trask Road and shot a “5X5 bull elk.” The animal was injured but David was unable to find it and kill it before sundown so he returned the following day with the landowner to look for it.
The outlet reports that the hunter found the elk at around 9:15 a.m. on Sunday morning and shot it once more with his bow. He failed to kill it, however, and the elk “charged and gored David in the neck with its antlers,” police reported.
Oregon State Police told the Statesman that the landowner tried to save David’s life after the incident but the hunter’s injuries were fatal. The OSP added that an investigation took place and the elk was eventually killed. The Tillamook County Jail received its meat as a donation, the outlet reported.
September & October Is the Mating Season for Elk Which Can Be Dangerous for Humans
WARNING: The elk rut has begun in Yellowstone National Park. Bull elk can be extremely dangerous during this time. You are responsible for your own safety.https://t.co/YTbWAr7Shw pic.twitter.com/aCUNE5hpKn
— Yellowstone NPS (@YellowstoneNPS) August 28, 2020
The National Park Service’s website indicates that the mating season for elk, known as the rut, runs from September to October. During this time, bull (male) elks will “bugle” to “announce their availability and fitness to females and to warn and challenge other bulls.” Two challenging bulls will crash their antlers together and battle to dominate the other and access the cows (female).
The NPS warns that bull elk can charge people and cars that get too close, and the concern is heightened during bull elk battles when the animal will move quickly and change directions. On August 28, Yellowstone National Park warned that the rut had begun. “WARNING: The elk rut has begun in Yellowstone National Park. Bull elk can be extremely dangerous during this time. You are responsible for your own safety.” Last year’s NPS news release about the elk rut stated that “People have been severely injured by elk.”
In a strange story from 2016, a hunter was nearly killed by the elk he’d hunted and killed in Oregon when he crashed his ATV and was impaled by the elk’s antlers. KATU reported that Gary Heeter, 69, was dragging the elk’s carcass behind his ATV when the vehicle flipped while going up a steep hill. Heeter was flung backward and fell onto the antlers. He was flown to the hospital in “fair condition,” the outlet reported.