Indiana Hunter Dies After "Scuffle" with Deer

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A Fort Wayne man dies after a scuffle with a deer he shot. Paul Smith was helping with a herd reduction hunt at Chain O' Lakes State Park in Indiana. He was in a treestand and shot a deer. When he got down to field dress and tag the deer, he found the deer was still alive. In a phone call to his son, he said he had a scuffle with the deer, before finally being able to kill it with his knife.

Smith later called park rangers for assistance in transporting the deer to the check station. When the rangers found Smith he was sitting against a tree. They tried to revive him unsuccessfully. After the coroner performed the autopsy they discovered a lacerated liver. There was bruising, and they assume the deer kicked Smith. From Chicago Sun-Times.


GooseHunter Jr's picture

What a true tragedy.  I do

What a true tragedy.  I do not think I have ever heard of anything like that.  That must have been one tough deer.  My condolences go out to the hunters friends and family in a very tough time.

COMeatHunter's picture

Wow, that's a bummer.  What a

Wow, that's a bummer.  What a horrible way to end a hunt.  I too feel bad for his family.

I've always stressed giving the animal time to expire before approaching and then making sure it's dead before touching it.  We do this by touching the eyball, usually with the barrel of the gun.  However, I've never thought this was something that could result in getting killed.  Kicked or poked, yes, but killed by a freak injury--never even really considered it.

niceshot_smitty's picture

wow,  something like this is

wow,  something like this is a freakie thing.  My prayers got out to the family.  I have had animals get back up after i though they were died but, have been lucky not ever to get hurt. 

Retired2hunt's picture

  Whoa!  My prayers are with


Whoa!  My prayers are with the family of Paul Smith of Fort Wayne - especially the son.

This is a freak accident for certain.  I guess another reason why you stay in the stand or wherever you are at for 20 to 30 minutes to allow a downed animal to fully expire.  Maybe Mr. Smith did so as the article does not state differently.  I have often dropped a deer in its place and immediately walked up to it.  Lucky for me I never had  an animal get up and turn on me.  Definitely an article that should stay in mind for all hunters.

hunter25's picture

Amazing story here, I have

Amazing story here, I have heard of guys getting kicked by a deer before but never with the results that happened here. It looks like he didn't even think himself that he was very badly injured as he made a couple of calls after and really didn't say much about it. I had one instance with a deer myself sort of like Vermonster mentioned where a buck we thought was dead and had already started dragging got back on his hoofs and started pulling back against us. We just let go and were able to deliver a finishing shot quickly and put an end to the situation. Fortunately nobody was hurt but the story here and others like ours show how careful you have to be with every aspect of your hunt even after the rifle is unloaded and you believe the hunt is over. 

Condolences to the family in this bad situation.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Wow.  I could see having a

Wow.  I could see having a heart attack and dying, because you hear of those occasionally frm guys who get over worked dragging their deer.  But to have one kick you hard enough to lascerate a liver?  Geez.

My Dad actually had this happen to him.  I think I even posted a story about the "Broncing Buck", or something like that.  We thought the deer was dead, and he grabbed an antler, ready to stick it in the neck with his knife.  The deer stood up, and my Dad had to hole on to both antlers until I handed him his gun and he shot it in the neck.  Pretty freaky 30 seconds.

Very sorry to hear that they were not able to save him.  Probably had been some time before they found him, so there was no chance at saving him anyway.