The legend of Rick Clunn just keeps growing. Always up for adventure, the Bassmaster Elite Series pro’s latest escapade turned into an amazing animal rescue.
Clunn, 75, was with his oldest son, Sage, scouting on Lake Mead for the recent WON Bass U.S. Open. They ventured into the farthest reaches of the lake and decided to camp on the boat Thursday night.
“We decided to sleep under the stars instead of running all the way back down,” Clunn posted. “Cold chicken tenders and peanut butter crackers were our dinner. It rained on us a little, but it was an incredible night.”
Sandwiched around Clunn’s 1984 Classic victory were wins on Lake Mead in the 1983 and 1986 U.S. Opens. The lake downstream from the Grand Canyon gave Clunn another grand outdoors story.
“This lake has always been special for me, but today unfolded in a way I never imagined. After a night under the stars we started the morning to an unexpected sight. A group of donkeys had come to the water to drink, or so we thought,” Clunn posted. “As we got closer my son noticed a tiny donkey stuck in quicksand. Without hesitation he acted out of incredible kindness. The dad in me was concerned for his safety, but I trusted his intuition.”
Sage stepped off the boat and plodded into the muck in hopes of saving the baby and reuniting it with mother, who anxiously watched from up the bank. Buried past his knees, Sage worked feverishly as dad videoed before having to climb down to help.
“After 45 minutes we finally freed the little guy who then tried to follow (Sage) back to the boat instead of its own mother. I believe he was telling him thank you. We watched as the mother and baby were reunited and the muddy little guy got some much-needed milk. What a fantastic morning.”
The Spanish introduced donkeys to the region in the 1500s, and they hauled supplies to Nevada miners before escaping or being released. The rangeland around Lake Mead holds one of the biggest herds of burros in the state at more than 550, the Bureau of Land Management estimates.