Elk NetworkGrinch Gets Busted, Teen’s Elk Antlers Returned

General | December 19, 2022

Go ahead, call it a Christmas miracle!

Almost a month after someone stole the antlers of Taylor Gyllenberg ‘s first-ever bull elk out of her backyard in Baker City, Oregon, a good Samaritan made a call to the family with a tip and now they’re back in her possession.

Gyllenberg shot the bull and helped field dress and pack it out of the backcountry this fall. She was preparing it to become a European mount when she placed it in the back yard to dry. But someone hopped the fence and stole it.

Below is a report from the Baker City Police Department about the incident.

On November 18, 2022, the Baker City Police Department took a report involving the theft of a set of 5×6 bull elk skull and horns that were stolen out of the victim’s front yard in Baker City, Oregon. The victim had been working on cleaning the horns and skull for the purpose of displaying them in a European mount. The Baker City Herald ran an article dated November 20, 2022, on the theft. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation also did a story. Friends of the victim put up a reward for information leading to the recovery of the skull and horns.

Members of the Baker City Police Department and Narcotics Team obtained information that led officers to apply for a search warrant for a residence in Baker City located at 435 Spring Garden. The target of the search warrant was JOSHUA JAMES SMITH, age 40, who detectives knew to be residing at that home.

On December 13, 2022, BCPD patrol and detectives served the search warrant and located the skull and horns. Investigators also located small amounts of methamphetamine.

The case will be referred to the Baker County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Gyllenberg said she will give the reward money to the person who notified police.

“I was so stoked — really happy. It was crazy to see them sitting on the table in front of me,” Taylor told the Baker City Herald. “I won’t be leaving them outside ever again.”

(Photo credit: Taylor Gyllenberg)