It’s an unusual question posed recently due to a very unusual circumstance … can a buck be killed by shooting its antler? Well, one Minnesota hunter says this is exactly what happened. However, he’s still wondering how it happened at all.
A Minnesota game processor was unable to locate any other wounds on a buck that was harvested by a hunter recently. Leading the processor to conclude that the animal died after its antler was shot off, OutdoorLife reports.
This Minnesota deer hunter knows that the buck that was originally an 11-point buck went down in its tracks after the hunter fired three shots. As the game hunter approached the animal he noted that the once 11-point rack has now turned into a 10-point buck. Upon closer inspection, the hunter noticed that the deer was showing no exit wounds or even blood trails suggesting a bullet had hit it. The only injuries that could be seen on the buck were the missing left antler and brow tine.
“My first thought was that after I shot off its antler, the buck must have passed out and crashed into the ground and broken its back,” the Minnesota hunter relates.
“We think it just died after I hit the antler,” the hunter adds.
“The antler actually went farther than the buck did,” he continues. “The deer dropped immediately, and the antler probably went another five feet farther.”
The Buck Was Shot at by Two Hunters Just Before It Hit the Ground
Two Minnesota hunters had kept their eye on this buck with its impressive antlers all day. Then, they finally had the deer in their sights about 45 yards away. Each one of the hunters fired a slug at the animal causing it to drop to the ground.
“He shot and I shot almost at the same time,” the Minnesota man recalls.
“Mine was a second later,” he adds. “And then it dropped.”
According to the reports, the buck quivered a bit before laying still on the ground. The hunters both recall that one of the first things they noticed was the antler. It had been shot off the buck’s head. The hunters also noticed a very unusual lack of blood aside from a small amount that had dripped from the buck’s mouth.
The entire scene was unusual. However, a lump on the buck’s back helped the hunters figure out a possible scenario. One shot, they thought, knocked the antler off the buck. The other one, the hunters wondered, may have hit the deer in the spine, killing it instantly.
However, as they looked closer, they couldn’t find an entry wound anywhere on the animal. The only evidence of a shot hitting the buck was related to the missing antler. The deer processor has a theory as to what actually happened.
“The shot probably hit the antler low, close to the pedicle,” the processor notes.
“It would have to be an incredible amount of trauma,” he continues. “But if something just really rocked that antler base, I guess it’s possible that [the shot] could cause enough trauma to the front of the brain to kill it.”