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Sons Save Father from Vicious Deer Mauling

From left to right, Dawson, Chad and Gavin Hebert pose with the deer. Photo courtesy of Chad Hebert.

From left to right, Dawson, Chad and Gavin Hebert pose with the deer. Photo courtesy of Chad Hebert.

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.

Thirteen-year-old Gavin Hebert.

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

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of OutdoorHub. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.
  • Brandon p

    Who shoots a deer in the back legs? Second question, why shoot it in the neck instead of the heart?

    • Bill

      spine kills instantly, hamburger meat in the necks spinal area, stakes in the shoulders to the heart. Neck is pretty much a kill shot, arteries, ability to breath, spinal column. less waist of meat, I was taught if presented as well to shoot for the neck as choice shot. heart, to far back and you got a gut shot. neck to far back and you got a heart shot. deer’s heart is smaller then the kill area in the neck. deer moving and your shooting at it, you can hit any were, some one with the famed buck fever shakes and it happens to about every one the first kill of two. the only buck you see is heading away from you or about to go over a ridge and that is your one quick shot. it would be nice if they just stood broad side to you, and sometimes that happens but not always ask a professorial butcher who cuts up big game after a season were he sees the hits come in at. its all over from all angles, I took one deer hit threw the lower rear leg into the gut and the bullet stopped after going threw its heart, the bullet was just under the skin in the front chest area, I lost a little meat on the back leg, that was the shot and angle I was presented with, I was glad I was carrying a 300 Win Mag with 165 gr Hornady spire point boat tails,loaded to just under max. which the gun is sighted in for, they don’t tear up much meat but will knock them down! check this bullet out for your caliber, best coefficients and range energy out there, the 15 grains over 150 grain doesn’t slow it down much if at all and adds to knock down a lot, best load I could come up with at the times now about 10 years old, there may be better bullets now but I have stuck with this one after over $100 in cost testing it out and working out the best powder charge for speed and accuracy and pressure, you get a very good idea of pressure by learning to look at your fired primer and case, primer tells a lot though just by its self.

  • Guest

    Wow maybe that kid needs to learn to shoot better. Poor deer. Guy kind of got what he deserved. Who goes tracking a deer right after you shoot it. Maybe you should be sitting with your kids and making sure they are making good, clean, ethical kill shots. Sorry don’t think you are going to get much support on this story. Maybe your family needs to practice your shooting and aiming before hunting much more before you wound to many more animals this badly. Can’t say I feel to sorry for you.

    • Bill

      and I wonder just how much hunting you have done. bad hits happen. he is lucky, a deer can put a hoof threw your gut. I for one would have taken the rifle with me or for your Easterners a shotgun but it is a lot easier to put that second killing round into a kill spot then, Oh and if you ask my Uncle was a guide and outfitter, in fact he held the office of president of the association for some time in Colorado. One of my jobs with him was help track wounded animals, then take the paying hunter in to finish the kill once the downed animal was located, Waiting is one thing we often used as well as tracking skills.

      • Guest

        Actually I have done quite a bit of hunting thank you for asking. All of my kills have been one shot and perfect and ethical kill shots the first time. That is because I take the time to practice and know my gun. I have been shooting gun since I was a small girl. Yes I said I am female. Does that make me less of a hunter? My dad and grandpa always made sure I knew how to shoot and aim and today I have them to thank for that. It means MY DEER don’t suffer when I shoot them. One shot and they are down. Right through the lungs and heart and never go more than 50 yards. I also know better then not to walk up to a wounded animal without a gun. You let it lay for awhile and make sure its down. This kid should not of been hunting alone and really made a poor shot. They are trying to make themselves look like victims when they really truly screwed up and make made decisions and unclean unethical shots.

  • Guest

    Bad shots happen but following up a wounded animals without a gun in hand??? Such a poor reflection on hunters in general.

  • Captain Sparrow

    I feel very bad for the deer.

  • John

    “vicious mauling” no. Self preservation more likely. I also feel bad for the deer. Outdoor hub went down a notch with me for the title.

  • Jim

    What a poor title for an article and a poor shot. May have well called the deer an “insurgent terrorist” for trying to fight back. And how bad of a shot at 100 yards to be aiming for vitals and hitting the back leg.?!! I wonder about just how much training the kid really had.

    This reminds me of an incident about two years ago. A 14-year old kid was hunting, WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISION, and shot a heavy-set woman he mistook for game when she bent over…ON A WELL-ESTABLISHED HIKING TRAIL.