A Louisiana man is simply thankful that his sons were there to help him escape from a fierce and wounded deer when things went awry on a hunting excursion last week. Chad Hebert, 41, and his two sons Gavin and Dawson were hunting deer on private land in the middle of western Louisiana’s Beauregard Parish on November 4 when the mauling occurred.
It was a cloudy and gloomy day with some rain, but still good for hunting. From a tree stand, 13-year-old Gavin shot a deer that was about 100 yards away. He saw it hunker down and spin around, so he knew he made contact, but the deer scuttled out of view. Hebert and Dawson, 10, were in another stand about 125 yards away from Gavin’s stand. When they heard the gunshot, they made their way over, leaving the guns in their car parked nearby because of the rain. They went to the site where Gavin said he had shot him, but they couldn’t find a blood trail.
What they did find was displaced dirt and a few bone fragments.
They circled out in three different directions looking for the deer, which didn’t take long to find. Not even 20 yards away from where it was shot, Hebert spotted the deer, a 10-point buck that was injured, but on the move.
“When he [Gavin] shot him, he broke both back legs,” Hebert said. “One back leg he broke in two completely, it was only hanging on by skin. The other back leg was nicked,only partially broken. That’s the reason the big buck didn’t run but 20 yards from where we had shot him, cause he was severely injured and didn’t have much of a back leg to be running on.”
Hebert followed the buck through a food plot into a briar thicket but lost sight of him. “I stopped to look if I could see or hear it, cause it was moving, you know, it was running. And I look to my left, and that buck was in the corner of this briar patch, approximately 10 feet from me. He was sitting on his butt like a dog, with his front feet up.”
Hebert stood there, stunned, looking at the buck looking at him. The deer’s neck was swollen and Hebert could tell he was in rut.
Hebert recalled thinking to himself, “Oh my god, Chad be careful, he’s in rut.” He hardly had time to finish his thought before the deer was upon him. “By this time, he just grunts at me, snorts, blows and charges. I go backwards and I trip and fall backwards on my butt.”
Hebert managed to get back up and pulled his knife but dropped it after the buck lowered his antlers and charged again. The hunter tried to grapple with the deer and hold its antlers at bay, but the wounded animal overpowered him and gored Hebert in the leg. Hebert firmly held on to the deer’s antlers and twisted its head, yelling for his sons to grab the knife he had dropped.
Hebert’s son Gavin had started heading for the car for the gun, but sprinted back to the scene of the struggle when he heard his father yelling. Gavin picked up the blade where his father had dropped it and repeatedly cut at the deer’s neck.
Gavin’s slashes connected and Hebert lessened his grip on the deer, but he didn’t want to let go since it was still breathing.
“My leg at this time, I could tell something was wrong with it, I could feel tingling and numbness. I started getting throbbing pain around the knee area. I had no idea if the horn was still in me, if he had stuck me once, twice, didn’t know how bad it was,” Hebert added. He eventually managed to slide out from under the deer and push the buck’s antlers out of his leg.
Hebert and the deer stood up and backed away from one another. The buck made off just another 15 feet before it fell for a final time. Gavin ran to the car for a gun and put in one final shot in his neck.
The family pulled up their truck and loaded the deer. Hebert’s sons helped him to the hospital to tend to a laceration about two inches deep behind his left knee, but there was no knee cartilage, muscle, or nerve damage.
He spent two days in the hospital and is just thankful that he lived to tell the tale. He vowed to never again track an animal by himself.
Family photo courtesy of Chad Hebert Gavin photo courtesy of Gerron Jordan/KPLC TV