Talk about a once-in-a-lifetime rescue. Imagine carrying two giant racks of swords on your head daily and trying not to impale yourself. Welcome to the life of cervid males.
Deer goring themselves with their antlers happens, but it’s not something any conservationist should expect to see twice. So when Sean Redd found exactly that, he took a few startling photos to document the happenstance before coming to the buck’s rescue.
Redd says he was watching a herd of deer feed on his 40-acre property outside Drasco, Arkansas this September when the usual gathering time at his game feeder turned to chaos.
The 40-year-old hunter would then watch as his usual grouping of white-tailed deer took off for the forest. He has no idea why, but something clearly spooked the deer. As the herd took off, one buck remained twisted on the ground, grunting profusely.
“Buck grunting is normal, but this deer was grunting non-stop, so I figured I better check it out,” Redd tells Outdoor Life.
And check it out he did. Redd hopped in his pickup and drove out to the feeder. There, a young 7-point buck laid belly-up, unable to move.
“I drove to within five yards of the buck. It was a young 7-pointer, about three years old, that I’d seen several times previously on my place,” Redd recalls. “He was in a real bind.”
That’s putting it lightly. As his photos show above, the buck had impaled his inner thigh with his own antlers. However, it happened left the youngster contorted into a crescent shape.
White-Tailed Buck Rendered Completely Immobile
The lack of blood told Redd the whitetail was lucky. The antler broke through the skin but somehow managed not to penetrate muscle. Still, the buck was rendered completely immobile.
“He was whipped, from I guess fighting to untangle the mess he got into,” Redd continues. “He wasn’t struggling when I got there, just lying there, looking at me.”
Redd emphasizes that he has absolutely no idea how this young buck got into such a “jam.”
“Maybe it was from scratching himself with his antlers,” he ponders. Maybe. Whatever the case, he stepped up like the Outsider he is and got the youngster out of his predicament.
Redd tells Outdoor Life he put pressure onto the buck’s left antler, forcing it into the ground. This then took the pressure off the impalement. And once he did, the deer “jumped up, and ran off into the woods.”
“I didn’t think much of doing what I did. But afterward I realized helping the buck could have been a little dangerous if he started thrashing around its legs or head,” Redd realizes. “But he didn’t, and it worked out good for him.”
In the week or so since, Redd says he’s seen the buck regularly. Now he feeds and walks alongside the other bucks with no trouble at all, thanks to his quick thinking.