YELLVILLE, Ark. (CNN) – A man died in a hunting incident in Arkansas recently after authorities say he was attacked by the very deer he had just shot.
This is on the list of odd hunting-related deaths for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The organization’s Chief of Communications, Keith Stephens, said, “I’ve worked for the Game and Fish Commission for 20 years, and it’s one of the stranger things that’s happened.”
Officials said 66-year-old Thomas Alexander shot a buck with a muzzleloader while hunting near Yellville, Arkansas. Stephens said that is when the deer attacked.
“I don’t know how long he left it there, but he went up to check it to make sure it was dead. And evidently it wasn’t,” Stephens said. “It got back up, and he had several puncture wounds on his body.”
The agency reported Alexander was by himself but able to call his family, who called emergency responders. He later passed away at the hospital.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said it is unclear whether Alexander died from those puncture wounds, or from another cause, like a heart attack.
Stephens said, “It’s my understanding there’s not going to be an autopsy, so we may never know what actually happened.”
He says the only other time something like this happened was in Ashley County.
“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,” Stephens said.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says it’s important for hunters to make sure the deer is not moving for about 30 minutes before approaching it.
“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 done that. We just don’t know,” Stephens said.
Authorities say the victim was an experienced hunter, so they doubt his injuries were from poor hunting practice.