LOOK: Poachers Leave Live Buck with Crossbow Bolt Stuck Through Its Head

by Alex Falls

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) is investigating an attempt to illegally poach live buck from a protected area. Residents of the Indian Lake peninsula area of Hendersonville reported a deer walking around their neighborhood with a crossbow bolt stuck through its head.

The TWRA stepped in after receiving numerous calls from people reporting the deer in distress. Representatives came to the area to find the animal and remove the arrow from its wound. The local news affiliate covered the story and provided a look at the injured deer.

“They did tranquilize the animal using a dart gun, and when they inspected the wound, they realized that it had missed a lot of vital areas. It didn’t hit any blood vessels or veins. The broadhead was lodged in its lower jaw,” TWRA spokesperson Barry Cross said.

They were able to remove the bolt. They also applied medicine to the wound left behind and released the buck back into the wild. Cross said the person behind the failed hunting attempt will be held responsible if the animal dies from its wound.

“If the animal does die, then they’ll have to pay restitution — $1,000 for the deer itself, and then $500 for each antler point,” Cross said.

Deer hunting season ends on August 28th. Attempting to harvest bucks outside of the season is considered a Class B misdemeanor. Cross said if the huntsman is found, they will likely lose their hunting license entirely.

“The biggest thing that you need to take away from this, whether or not it was a bad shot or not, was the fact that they were hunting out-of-season and they were illegally trying to take an animal,” Cross said.

A More Successful Deer Hunt Recently Made Headlines

A successful (and legal) hunt took place of a man using a crossbow effectively unlike the poor animal above. John Cassimus of Alabama traveled to Alberta, Canada and scored the deer hunt of a lifetime.

Cassimus spoke to Outdoor Life about the kill. He said he took the deer down with a 20-yard spinal shot, with another shot to officially kill it. The whitetail was stocky, hefty, and sported a huge set of antlers. A once-in-a-lifetime kind of kill. Cassimus has been hunting in the woods of Canada since 2006, which inspired his love of deer. The hunter scouted the area for 12 days before finally bagging the massive kill.

“He was just so big. He stood the height of an elk. His lower leg from the joint down, I would say is more than 27 or 28 inches, like just insanely long. It didn’t even look normal, you know?” Cassimus said. “We figured the deer was going to be around 160 to 165 [inches] when we looked at it on camera, but then we just didn’t realize the deer was 300 pounds on the dot and it was so big and so tall that when we walked up to him, we were just kind of in awe … especially from the mass standpoint. The deer had over 53 inches of mass.”