There’s an old reporter’s adage about story sources that goes thusly, “trust, but verify.” It’s also a damn useful refrain for life, romance and, oh, yes, the deer woods. Especially the next time you kneel down to pat the deer you’ve just shot and thank it for giving its life to you, because possession of said life might not yet, in point of fact, been fully transferred…

From this story on New Hampshire’s
Everett Gray said he plans to retire from deer hunting after being gored by an eight-point buck he shot with his .257 Roberts rifle. “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.

According to the story, Gray shot the deer, followed it, and found it piled up dead a short distance away. He then walked up to the dead deer, knelt, patted the buck on the head and thanked it for giving its life to him. This apparently annoyed the buck, which rose, Lazarus-like, and charged Gray, who ended up with four inches of horn in his side. Gray managed to walk out of the woods on his own and get to a nearby hospital, where he was treated and released. The buck managed to eventually die and sign over, albeit unwillingly, his pink slip to Gray, who says he’s had enough and is retiring from deer hunting.