Cornish man swears off hunting after being gored by buck
"My brother gave me that rifle," Gray said Sunday. "I shot my first deer with it, and I just shot my last."
Gray said he was on his property Thursday night, talking to a neighbor. He spotted a deer and decided to grab his rifle and see if he could get a shot.
"I found a good spot to sit, and I sat there and waited," said Gray, who is in his 50s.
He saw the deer again, but then it disappeared into the woods. Gray decided to have a cigarette and go inside if the deer didn't show another time. While he was smoking, the deer appeared, this time 20 yards away.
He fired and hit the deer, which took off. Gray said he followed and found his quarry on the ground.
"It was beautiful; it looked like a deer bedded down in the woods," he said.
Gray said he walked up to the deer, patted it between its antlers and thanked it for giving its life. He didn't expect what happened next.
"The deer bounds up and rolls down the hill," he said, getting tangled in the underbrush. As he approached, the deer lunged.
"He drove the horn into me, picked me up and pounded me into the ground," Gray said. "He was just thrashing and I'm holding onto his horns - I thought he killed me."
Gray said the antler went four inches into his side, but did not hit any major organs. He was able to get out of the woods on his own. He was treated at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
Gray said he is still haunted by the images of the attack.
"I've been doing this for 10 years," he said of hunting. "I think I'm retiring."
He doesn't blame the deer; in fact he's impressed with the animal for the strength it exhibited after being shot.
"This deer had so much heart," he said.