Thomas Alexander, 66, was pronounced dead on Tuesday after being attacked by a deer that he shot while hunting in the woods near his home in Yellville, Arkansas, Buzzfeed News reports.
At approximately 6:30 p.m., Alexander approached the buck that he had just shot, possibly under the assumption that the male deer was dead. Trey Reid, assistant chief of communications for Arkansas' game and fish commission, says that when Alexander got close, the animal got up, attacked him, and ran away.
Alexander was able to reach out to his wife following the attack to alert her of what had just occurred. Rescuers were able to find him, but he stopped breathing and died right as he made it to Baxter Regional Medical Center. While the cause of death is still unknown, the multiple puncture wounds sustained by Alexander, which are believed to be from the buck's antlers, appear to have played a part in his death.
"An attack of this nature is quite rare, but not unheard of," Reid said. "Our hunter education coordinator has been working in this field for more than three decades and knows of only one other incident when a deer has attacked a hunter after being shot in Arkansas. That hunter was seriously injured but survived."
Anyone in Arkansas who has received their hunting license knows from their mandatory education course that a fallen deer should not be approached for at least 30 minutes.
As for the deer, it's still on the run. "We haven't found the deer," Reid said. "We've had two K-9 units in the area, but it's begun to rain in [the area of the attack], so that's hampered efforts."