In a shocking twist of fate, an experienced Arkansas hunter was attacked by a deer he had just shot in the woods on Tuesday evening. The hunter later died after suffering puncture wounds from the deer’s antlers.
Officials said 66-year-old Thomas Alexander was hunting in Yellville, Arkansas on Tuesday when he shot a buck using a muzzleloader. As he approached the animal, believing it was dead, it attacked him.
“He apparently went over to the buck and it got up and attacked him,” said Keith Stephens, the chief of communications for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Alexander was able to call his wife and emergency responders planned to airlift him out of the woods, but he stopped breathing before they could get in the helicopter, so he was taken by ambulance instead.
Alexander was pronounced dead at Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home, Stephens said. An official cause of death has not been released.
“We’re not sure that he died from the deer. It could have been other medical issues. It’s my understanding that there’s not going to be an autopsy,” Stephens told CBS News. “The hospital did note that he had several puncture wounds.”
Stephens said the situation is “very rare.” A similar attack by a wounded deer occurred in south Arkansas in 2016, but the hunter in that case survived.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has sent two K-9 units to search for the deer, but have been unsuccessful. It is not known whether or not it survived the incident.