White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Male Buck with Antlers
Getty Images, Brian Woolman

A Gruesome Neck Injury Can't Stop This Tough Whitetail Buck

Miraculously, the deer is walking around and eating like nothing is wrong.

Whitetail deer have an incredible will to live, even when gravely wounded—a fact well-known by most hunters. Even then, there are things that leave us scratching our heads. One case horrifying discovery, left our jaws dropping to the ground. An Instagram video surfaced on Drury Outdoors that defied logic. The footage was shot by staff member Brandon Quandt and shows a big buck with a rather unusual neck injury. In the video, the buck hops a broken piece of fence and then walks through a cornfield. There is a notably large gash on the buck's neck where it connects to the front shoulder. The rest of the animal's cape seems to be hanging in shreds around the buck's neck.

In truth, the deer looks like he was mangled by a serial killer in some horror movie. It makes us wonder just what could have caused such a horrific injury, and more importantly, how on Earth is this buck still alive and acting somewhat normally? I know I wouldn't be munching on food while wandering around with a neck injury.


If you are wondering why the hunters did not mercy harvest the animal, Drury Outdoors explained in a comment that it is because the animal was filmed from a distance, the hunters weren't sure what they were looking at. The buck was also not in the plot very long and the hunter and camera man did not figure it was a horrific wound until it was too late for a shot. Most hunters would likely put this animal down on sight thinking he was coyote food. I know I would have.

Seeing footage like this, you would be forgiven for thinking the animal likely did not survive the winter. However, in the video's description, Drury Outdoors notes this buck defied the odds and survived for two more seasons after this footage was taken. In fact, they note the buck appeared completely healed in trail camera photos the following seasons. It was later found dead by someone on a neighboring property. Still, that is two more years than we would have guessed!

The only real question is what caused the injury in the first place. It is not likely it happened during a fight with another buck. Our best guess is the animal was either injured by a combine, or tore itself up escaping from being tangled in barbed wire. The world may never know, but it is a strong testament to a whitetail's toughness.

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