A hunting trip went seriously wrong earlier this week when one man was attacked by his own downed target.
Thomas Alexander, 66, was on the hunt on Tuesday night in Yellville, Arkansas, when the buck he thought he’d shot to death returned to its feet, stabbing Alexander with its antlers before running away, according to multiple reports.
Local police told CNN that the seasoned hunter, who went out solo, made arrangements to dress the deer with his nephew prior to the attack. Once his nephew got to him, he found his uncle alert yet struggling. Alexander was able to call his wife for help, but he stopped breathing before emergency teams got him to a hospital.
It has not been determined yet if the puncture wounds inflicted by the deer were the cause of death, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission told KY3, as other factors, a heart attack for example, could have been to blame. There will reportedly be no autopsy conducted in this case.
Though it’s not uncommon for hunters to mistake a fallen deer as dead — experts suggest waiting a half-hour, observing the animal to confirm the kill — it is unusual for the encounter to be fatal.
“When you get up there, be really careful around it because it may not be dead,” Keith Stephens, chief of communications for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, told KY3. “But if you let them lay there for a while and they don’t move — and he may have done that. We just don’t know.”
With two decades of experience in this field, Stephens says this situation is “one of the stranger things that’s happened.”
According to CNN, Alexander’s death was likely not the result of bad hunting practices, but rather a freak accident. The Game and Fish Commission also reported that the wounded deer has not yet been located.