KALISPELL — It was the rush of a lifetime for Kalispell resident Annie Crone on the opening day of hunting season on public lands north of Roy -- two shots from 145 yards out bagged Crone a massive bull elk, a trophy elk hunters often dream of.
A car accident involving black ice left Crone paralyzed from the waist down in 2010. Since the accident, Crone remains an active hunter.
After drawing the tag, Crone and her husband Jason came up with a team effort to bag her elk. Due to unforeseen weather, Jason pulled Annie 1.5 miles miles on a sled over rough terrain to reach her target destination.
From there, Annie took control.
“After my first shot he just didn’t even flinch and I just turned to Jason and asked did I miss? ‘shoot him again’ I shot him again and he still wasn’t doing anything, and was like did I miss? And Jason put the binoculars on him and I was hitting him for sure,” Crone said.
Annie’s husband Jason -- an active hunter since he was 10 years old -- was overcome with emotion after Annie’s shot.
“We actually did it somehow, you know teamwork, and just pure motivation to get it done. It’s top out of all the hunts I’ve done, it’s number one so far,” Crone said.
Annie hopes her success motivates paraplegic hunters to to keep chasing their dreams.
“I’m doing things I never imagined doing in my life and I’m having so much fun doing it,” Crone said.