Bear animation

One Mean Whitetail
Marty Thompson

Westminster, MD

Many years ago on the first of January in 1972, I was bow hunting with a friend who got himself into trouble with an enraged whitetail. There was about ten inches of snow on the ground and from my perch high in an oak tree, I could see my buddy George standing behind another very large oak about a hundred yards away -- waiting for his deer to happen along.

At about 9:30 a.m., I caught movement off to my side from about thirty feet up and turned to see a buck wandering along just out of bow range from my perch and heading along a trail that should lead him right by my friend. I watched as the seven-pointer passed within fifteen yards of George. With the buck now angling slightly away from him, George put an arrow high in his right front shoulder. The buck immediately bolted away, then abruptly stopped and came back toward George, who was now quite visible against the white background. Directly behind George was a chain link fence that enclosed a military installation. The buck had been heading toward an area where deer had scraped away enough sod beneath the fence to allow entrance into their bedding area.

deer attacking a hunter

Deer Attack

As I watched, the buck started charging at him with his head down and soon had him pinned against the fence. George held his bow out in front of him in a horizontal position, trying with all he was worth to keep the buck from goring him and yelling at the top of his lungs for help. I hurried down from my stand and ran to where the action was taking place. I could hear the buck wheezing and grunting as George fought him off. When I got to within twenty feet, I knocked an arrow in my re-curve bow, and then put another arrow through the buck's heart. He fell to his knees and died only moments later. "Man, what took ya' so long?" George blurted out. "Hey, you were doin' alright," I laughed. "I heard him snortin' and gruntin' when I came up," I told George. "Snortin' and gruntin'! That wasn't him! That was me!" he said. Ha! Ha!

We had a great laugh and George insisted that I take the head and one-half the meat, but since he'd been the one in danger and had sustained a lacerated finger, I declined his offer and insisted that he take the head with its fifteen-inch spread. I agreed to take half the meat.

Well, eventually big George gained so much weight that he wasn't able to hunt anymore and I don't even know where he is today.