Hatteberg's People - A Death Lock, A Hunter's Decision: Evan McAnally

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Wichita, Kan. -- Sometimes out on the prairie as an outdoorsman and hunter, you have to make some unusual decisions.

Well, Evan McAnally of Wichita certainly did, but more important, he recorded what happened on his Iphone, sharing that moment with the rest of us.

“You are all right buddy, you are all right.”

Few hunters ever witness this. A nine-point buck with antlers entangled with another 9-point buck that’s now been eaten by coyotes.

“He was fairly active, he was still pushing and dragging, he had a lot of life left in him, and I knew then that I should try to step in and as much as I could, try to free him.”

“I was just trying to calm the deer, I was petting him, scratching his neck a little bit, and it did seem to work. He really held a constant pressure against me.”

“I had originally started to just try and manipulate the horns to get them to come apart which didn’t work at all. The connection that I really felt with him was more that he ‘allowed’ me to do what I did.”

Since he was a child, Evan has been fascinated with hunting.

“I was raised in a family that hunting is what we did, ‘game’ is what we ate. I hunt what I eat and I ate what I hunt.”

“It’s not a sport in my opinion, it’s not fair to the animals to call it a sport. It’s just a predator-prey relationship that’s been going on forever.”

But back on that fateful day in February, the predator-prey relationship changed.

Could he save the remaining entangled buck, or would he have to put her down?

Evan couldn’t get the buck freed by hand from the carcass of the other animal so he went back to his truck for a wood saw.

“I knew it was going to be harder to cut through. It takes more time and more vibration. I ended up just making it halfway through the horn and was able to snap it off, and he really was free. At the last point I actually had to reach down and slowly kind of raise his head up so that he could realize he wasn’t attached anymore. He saw the horizon and then realized he could go and he moved on.”

“I just had a sense of relief that it was over obviously, and he was able to get up and run off and hopefully survive.”

“I would love to see him again as much as possible in the future. But I just couldn’t reach for my bow to take him.”

“I really think he could see me as well as I could recognize him.

“He trusted me to do what I did.”

I think all of us would love to know what that deer thought of what Evan did.


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