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Hunter Gets Nasty Surprise From Wounded Deer

October 22, 1985

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ Richard Greenhagen has learned that not all deer take a bullet lying down. The hunter had the misfortune to meet a buck that, although wounded and already being cleaned, jumped up to gore him.

Greenhagen, of Salt Lake, said things appeared to be going as planned when he shot the buck in the Salt Creek Canyon area Saturday. He was confident the deer was dead and began to clean it.

Suddenly, the buck jumped up, turned on Greenhagen and charged him, pushing him backwards and goring him in the leg.

″I was really surprised when the deer got up,″ Greenhagen said after spending a night in the Juab County Hospital in Nephi. ″As many deer as I’ve killed in the past, it really surprised me that it was even able to get up. It happened so quick. After it was all over, I gave the deer plenty of room.″

At first, the hunter didn’t think his injury was that serious. And when the deer finally died, Greenhagen finished cleaning him, and his brother hauled the animal back to camp.

″I walked around for quite awhile before I went to the doctor to get it cleaned out,″ said Greenhagen. ″I thought it was just a shallow wound. I didn’t bleed much.″

When he reached the hospital, however, it was determined that the wound was more serious. The buck’s antler had gone 6 inches into Greenhagen’s leg, just missing both his leg bone and his artery.

″I guess I was pretty lucky,″ he said Monday.

Grand Jense, big-game supervisor for the Division of Wildlife Resources, said such incidents have happened before.

″It won’t be the first time or the last time,″ he said. ″I’ve heard of the deer getting up before. I always walk up behind them. You never want to go in front of the deer, especially if its facing downhill. A wounded animal can’t go uphill, but it can lunge quickly downhill.″

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