EVERGREEN, Colo. (KDVR) — From the moment he teed off, Zak Bornhoft knew the day was going to be memorable.
Bornhoft was golfing with three buddies at Evergreen Golf Course last Saturday on a day as beautiful as they get.
“The day was so graceful and peaceful. It was kind of like my last golf round of the season and I was like, ‘Let’s go out with a bang and do something nice,'” Bornhoft said.
However, something nice suddenly became something terrible.
“Honestly, it happened so fast I don’t know I could have told you what happened,” he said.
A giant bull elk charged the golf cart Zak was in, stabbing him with its antlers.
“I was kind of in between the driver and the elk. I had nowhere to go, nothing to do,” Bornhoft said.
Eight inches of the elk’s antler ended up piercing Zak’s side. The antler traveled all the way to his left kidney, slicing a portion of it.
“Gruesome, man, I’ll tell you, it’s the craziest thing I’ve ever felt. But I’ll be honest, the force of the animal was the biggest thing,” he said.
Bornhoft says he remembers feeling woozy, but didn’t realize how badly he’d been hurt.
“I think an inch either way could have been a bad deal for me. I could have been paralyzed or it could have gone through my spleen,” he said.
Zak remains hospitalized, but is finally improving after several days of intense pain.
“It’s being gored by an elk. Nobody’s really had that experience and can relate to it. I will tell you I still feel like an antler’s back there. I always try to play back what we could have done different and I don’t know we could have done anything,” Bornhoft said.
Bornhoft hopes to be released from the hospital in the next couple of days. His doctors’ biggest concern is his kidney. A small portion of it was sliced off by the antler. Doctors are waiting to see if the kidney can heal and repair itself, or whether he’ll need to have it removed.
“It’s the most bizarre thing ever. This will be a story for years to come,” he said.