Earlier this week, a Minnesota bowhunter shot a 9-point buck that had some extra headgear on beyond just its antlers.
The deer had a tangled mess of nylon rope, hay bale twine, and fencing wrapped around its antlers and face.
Cameron Maurer was enjoying a quiet morning in the woods on October 23rd when he let an arrow flow towards the buck. He shared his story with Outdoor News.
He was watching two small bucks sparring with each other for about half an hour, roughly 100 yards in front of his tree stand. One of the deer then veered off and made its way toward the food plat he was hunting over. Maurer watched the small buck forage or turnips when the bigger buck then stepped into the field.
“I did a double-take as I noticed something unusual in his rack.
I put my binoculars on him and realized he had a whole mess of fencing wrapped around his head.
Upon closer examination, I recognized the deer as a split G2 buck that my brother and I had trail camera pictures of and were one that definitely had some potential to grow into a nice buck.”
Based on the trail camera pictures from earlier in the season, Maurer had no plans to shoot this particular deer, hoping it would grow into a super special trophy the next season.
But as the buck got closer to the tree he was sitting in, he noticed the deer was acting abnormally.
“I could tell the deer was not acting normal. He was breathing heavy and didn’t have any interest in feeding in the plot.
My instincts told me that this deer was in bad shape.
He looked lethargic and continued to breathe heavily. The smaller buck worked his way over and was interested in sparing some more, but this 9-pointer didn’t have any interest in expending that kind of energy.”
Given the circumstances, Maurer decided that shooting the buck might actually help end some of the suffering that the tangled mass affixed to its head was causing.
“Examining the deer and the mess that was on his head, I noticed that he had rope around his neck and in his mouth.
I felt a huge sense of relief knowing I made the right decision and gave this deer the quickest and least painful death possible.
The situation is a reminder to all citizens to think before throwing fencing or any trash away in an area where these animals live. We can all do a better job of providing great wildlife habitat.”