Shed hunters and wildlife watchers say it is the end of an era following the death of a massive mule deer near Bend, Oregon. Famous for his large, non-typical antlers, the deer that locals dubbed “Buck Norris” was found dead on Friday after an automobile accident.
According to KTVZ, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) estimated the buck’s age at around 10 years old—which is practically ancient when it comes to wild deer. It has been a long reign for this legendary buck, one that is now at an end.
“ODFW staff in the Bend area and statewide are saddened by the loss,” ODFW spokesperson Michelle Dennehy said in a statement. “Unfortunately, vehicle-wildlife collisions happen throughout Oregon and are more common around high density areas and in the Bend/central Oregon area in particular. While Buck Norris’ habit of staying within Bend city limits helped protect him to an older age, it finally put him at risk.”
The massive buck first showed up in the Bend area several years ago. Although little is known about his origins, the buck and his near record-sized antlers quickly attracted attention from wildlife watchers and photographers. Due to his popularity, little was done to inhibit the buck as he roamed freely across the city’s streets and yards—although he preferred to stay near the Nosler manufacturing plant, which ironically makes hunting ammunition.
You can see a video of a sleepy Buck Norris below:
Sticking close to city limits meant that Buck Norris was a prize target for a different type of hunter. Sheds from the massive buck were legendary in their own right and according to some residents, a full set could cost a collector up to $5,000. In light of his death, some are calling for the deer to be mounted in the city hall in remembrance. Fans of the buck have even started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a bronze sculpture of the deer to be commissioned for the city.
“Let’s give Buck the memorial he deserves for bringing so many of us so much joy and awe over the years,” stated the GoFundMe page.
“The infamous, most photographed mule deer in Central Oregon was easily recognizable by his downturned antler. He fearlessly roamed the roads and yards around town and made friends across the region,” the page added.
In the end, this fearlessness cost him his life. The ODFW reported that the driver of the vehicle was not injured.
You can watch an interview with those who kept an eye on Buck over the years below: