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A deer hunter was killed by the deer he was hunting

Published Oct 25th, 2019 3:01PM EDT
deer attack
Image: Reima Flyktman/Shutterstock

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Thanks to modern firearms, game animals like deer are really no match for human hunters. Still, every once in a while Mother Nature fights back, and instances of deer attacking the hunters who are hunting them are common enough that hunters know not to approach wounded animals before ensuring they have been incapacitated.

One hunter in Arkansas recently experienced a worst-case scenario when hunting deer with a muzzleloader, finding himself on the wrong end of a confrontation with the deer he had already shot. The man, 66-year-old Thomas Alexander, was hunting alone when the wounded deer attacked.

As NBC News reports, Alexander called a family member early in the evening on October 22nd to tell them he had successfully shot a deer. However, over an hour later he made another call to a different family member claiming that the deer had attacked and injured him, prompting his loved one to call emergency services for help.

He was quickly taken to a local hospital with multiple puncture wounds that were apparently caused by the deer’s antlers. The report doesn’t say where on this body the injuries occurred, but they were severe enough that the man ultimately succumbed to his injuries.

The details of the attack are scant, but it’s worth noting that the follow-up shots with a muzzleloader take significantly longer than with a semi-automatic or bolt-action rifle. They are single-shot weapons that require significant time to reload, and if the man’s first shot merely grazed the animal it would be difficult to ready the weapon quickly before the deer attacked. That’s not to say that the same thing wouldn’t have happened if Alexander would have been using a different weapon, but it’s worth considering.

An autopsy will be performed to confirm the cause of death, and officials have pointed out that they’re not sure that the injuries were the primary cause of death. The deer, meanwhile, has not been found, despite a search conducted by police K-9 units.