BILLINGS — Bringing home a 340 inch, six by seven bull elk may be many hunters dreams come true, but for Adam Grenda, it now feels like a bad dream after it was stolen out of a truck in a Billings hotel parking lot Saturday morning.
“Came down just for archery elk hunt and I ended up getting one. I was pretty happy," Grenda said Sunday, “woke up and it was like your worst nightmare, the elk rack was gone.”
Grenda lives in King Salmon, Alaska, but is originally from Idaho and spent many years hunting in Montana. He is now an experienced hunter and just wrapped up a two-week trip in central Montana, where he bagged a prized bull elk that would have been crown jewel in his collection of mounts.
“I’ve shot a lot of stuff. I shot a huge Boone and Crockett moose this year, a Boone and Crockett big horn sheep, which is like most people’s pinnacle, but this elk was probably one of my most prized trophies,” he said.
And he's now left on the hunt, again, for his elk rack and an estimated $5,000 worth of stolen gear, including his brother-in-laws bow, after it was taken from his brother-in-law's truck sometime between 3 a.m.-5 a.m. Saturday. His brother-in-law was driving the bull back to Idaho and parted from the hunting group early, stopping at the C'Mon Inn Hotel & Suites for a couple hours of rest.
“It crossed my mind, but I’m like, you don’t need to bring an elk rack inside. It’s like 90 pounds with the cape and you’re not going to take it through an elevator and upstairs into a motel room for three, four hours. Hindsight, probably should have done that,” he said.
A police report has been filed and Grenda is hopeful people will keep a look out for his KUIU duffle bag full of a majority of his hunting gear and the elk rack. His duffle bag has his name and phone number on it.
“You know, you can eat the elk and have elk meat and my kids are all going to enjoy it. But at the end that meat is going to be gone and I want the memory on the wall… I can’t believe a coward would take that,” Grenda said.
Grenda was on his way back to Alaska Sunday. Although he was mostly empty handed, he is grateful to get back to his wife and six kids and that everyone stayed safe on this hunting trip.
“We’re happy, we’re healthy, at the end of the day you can replace stuff,” he said.