The 66-year-old Arkansas man reportedly died on Tuesday evening while hunting in Yellville, Arkansas, officials reported.
According to Keith Stephens, Chief of Communications for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the buck was shot with a muzzleloader and fell. Thomas Alexander, the hunter, approached the buck to see if it was dead when the buck “got up and attacked him.”
Alexander phoned his wife after the attack. Eventually he was airlifted to hospital, during which he stopped breathing. Due to his health deterioration, he was then driven to the hospital instead.
Alexander was pronounced dead upon arrival to Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home. The exact cause of death has not been released but reports have confirmed he had puncture wounds. Keith Stephens said it is likely that complications arose during transport to the hospital, where Alexander died of a heart attack or other complications.
“It’s my understanding there’s not going to be an autopsy, so we may never know what actually happened,’ Stephens said. He added that this isn’t the first incident like this to have occurred.
“There was somebody that did get stuck by a buck’s antlers, and this was about four years ago. And it was pretty significant, but they did survive.”
According to the International Hunter Education Association, deaths associated with hunting are often self-inflicted, with most occurring from long falls from trees, firearm incidents and heart attacks. Alcohol sometimes contributes to the incidence of fatalities.
Keith Stephens said it’s important for hunters to take the necessary precautions and wait for around 30 minutes before approaching a deer, and to check that it isn’t moving.
“When you get up there, be really careful around it because it may not be dead. But if you let them lay there for a while and they don’t move, and he may have ha done that. We just don’t know,’ Stephens said.