A deer that a hunter thought he had shot didn’t stay down for long, and got back up to do the unexpected to the hunter in return.
Thomas Alexander, 66, was hunting deer Tuesday evening near the Ozark mountains in Arkansas with his nephew. Alexander managed to shoot a buck, and then watched it collapse.
That’s when the man discussed field dressing plans with his nephew before going to check on the deer’s body.
Unfortunately for the hunter, the deer apparently stood back up and attacked him instead. When his nephew found him, he was severely injured. His body was riddled with antler puncture marks.
The 66-year-old hunter was still alert and able to talk when he was found. He managed to call his wife, who alerted emergency services. Unfortunately, despite being conscious when he was found, he stopped breathing by the time paramedics were able to get him to a hospital.
According to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, it is unclear if Alexander passed away from the antler wounds that he suffered. It is also possible that the man perished from a heart attack or another medical issue. The official cause will remain unknown, though, as it has been decided that there will be no autopsy.
Joe Dale Purdom from the Game and Fish Commission says that injuries from wounded deer aren’t uncommon. Hunters may approach a deer assuming that it is no longer alive, but the deer is only stunned or injured.
Stunned deer usually stand back up and run away, but they can occasionally injure a hunter in the process if they get too close. Purdom suggests waiting 15 to 30 minutes before approaching a deer.
This is, however, the first time that Purdom has seen a hunter perish after sustaining injuries from approaching a stunned deer.
The unfortunate victim was known to be an experienced hunter, so Purdom thinks that it is unlikely that his injuries were actually a result of poor hunting practice. He thinks it is more likely that it was just an unusual accident.
The injured buck that Alexander shot has not been found.