Hunter's Rocky Mountain high heisted

Friday, November 29, 2002

After driving home from his annual pilgrimage to Steamboat Springs, Colo., Lou Hagler of Cape Girardeau was eager to mount a pair of elk antlers from the six-point bull he shot.

But the next day, he awoke to begin his hunt for the same pair of antlers all over again.

The antlers, which have an unusual second set of 2-inch brow points growing at the base, were stolen Nov. 20 from his pickup.

Though shocked anyone would consider stealing his elk antlers, Hagler took immediate action and notified police and put up a $100 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect. However, he'd be satisfied to just have the antlers back.

"A report makes it official that a theft occurred," he said.

Realistically, Hagler doesn't expect police to prioritize his loss.

"I'd much rather see them out busting crack dealers."

By sharing his story, Hagler wants to generate local interest in the Rocky Mountain Elks Foundation, which works to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitats.

The hunting trip was recommended by his doctor as physical therapy. After having several surgeries on an injured right wrist, Hagler was determined to continue his passion for the hunt.

"The whole point of the hunt for me is that the adventure is in the trip and in the pursuit," he said.

With his antlers missing, Hagler isn't discouraged.

"The adventure continues," he said.

Anyone with information on the theft is asked to contact the Cape Girardeau Police Department at 335-6621.

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