Whitetail deer are true survivors. In over 20 years of hunting, I've seen deer survive and keep on kicking through some rather nasty injuries. However, nothing quite compares a piece of trail camera footage that popped up on the Internet a few years ago. It didn't take long for the footage to make the viral rounds, garnering literally millions of views in a matter of hours. Not something that happens everyday for a simple video of a deer pausing at a crossing and then simply walking past the camera. Something that happens in forests across North America every single day.
However, it's the appearance of the buck that made most hunter's jaws drop in amazement. The deer in this video is missing a rather sizeable chunk of his back. To the point you can see what looks like his backstraps and should blade sticking up. We must warn you this is the most gruesome trail camera video we've ever seen. Don't eat while watching this one.
If you look closely, you can literally see this animal's shoulder blade moving up and down as he walks! Even more amazing, his backstraps look to be missing from one side! You'd think the blood loss alone would cause this buck to lay down and die within minutes. The fact it was up and walking around for a while is nothing short of incredible. After a little bit of digging, we discovered a hunter named Chris Evans captured this clip in Illinois. A short post on the Meateater blog notes that the buck was healthy and fine back in September before suddenly showing up looking like an undead nightmare.
Shortly after that video went live, it was revealed that the buck was eventually found dead, which is not surprising. According to the video's description, it was found a few weeks after the footage above was originally filmed. We don't have any further details than that. Judging from what's visible in this video, the body was probably too badly decomposed to get a closer examination of the wound to determine what made it.
The two popular leading theories on how the buck got hurt are are a collision with a vehicle on the road, or more popularly, that the buck was hit by a combine, but we'll never know for sure. This is probably destined to remain one of hunting's great viral mysteries. We still have almost no words for this one. We thought we had seen it all when it comes to what a deer can survive, but this simply raised the bar and we still have not found a trail camera video that tops this one.
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