Last week OutdoorHub posted a video of two hunters who attempted to shoo away an agitated buck and almost got gored for their troubles. As with any hunting trip, there was a story to go along with it. We have since found the full video from which the clip was taken (which you can see below), as well as tracked down the hunters in it. As it turns out, Chad Yousey and Joey King found the two bucks entangled after a fight. One had already died while the other was struggling to free itself. Risking life and limb, Yousey and King decide to give the deer a hand, but were not met with gratitude. Instead, the buck gave them a closer look at its antlers than they would have liked.
Yousey is the founder of Bow Madness Outdoors, a company that operates near Oklahoma City and offers guided hunts and filming services. Yousey said they contribute to local television and sometimes leave hunters with a video memento of their hunts, but they never expected anything like this.
“We’re country guys with 9 to 5s, so we’re not doing this full-time like we want to be but maybe eventually we’ll get there,” Yousey shared in a phone interview.
Their video of the antler-locked bucks definitely drew some attention.
“That video wasn’t even out for a day before someone downloaded it, cropped it, and it went crazy from there,” Yousey said.
It also drew some criticism from people who Yousey said did not see the full video. The hunters had in fact found the two deer locked together during a late October hunt. King was the first on the scene, after already successfully bagging a deer earlier. Yousey was on a different property filming when he received the call from King.
“He called [and said] ‘Dude get over here right now, I got two bucks locked up. One’s dead and the other’s dragging him all over the woods,’” Yousey remembered.
It took him 20 minutes to walk to King’s location. Sure enough, two bucks waited for him. Yousey estimated that the deer had been antler-locked for about 10 hours, and the one that was still alive was in rough condition. His initial thought was to free the bucks himself, explaining that calling a game warden in the heat of bow season would likely take several hours before anyone arrived.
“I just figured we could free them and nobody would get hurt, and [the buck] would just run off,” Yousey said.
It was not quite that easy. Yousey hoped the buck that was alive was as exhausted as it looked, but that quickly proved to be false.
“As soon as I got close to him, he just stood up, taking the other deer’s head with him,” Yousey said. “He stood up and looked at us, so he wasn’t as nearly worn out as we thought.”
With cameras rolling, Yousey and King set to freeing the entangled deer. Yousey said he left much out of the released footage, but the buck did not lack spirit.
“I had to work him for quite a while and he was trying to fight us the entire time, ramming us and moving the other deer around all over the place,” he said. “We finally got him unhooked and jumped back thinking he’s about to run off, but he just backed up 10 feet and stood there. We stood there for 10 to 15 minutes in a stare-off.”
It was the closest Yousey had ever been to a live, wild deer. The two men decided it was best to leave buck alone for the moment and dress the other deer so it did not go to waste, but Yousey said there was tension in the air.
“We were super nervous about what this buck could do at any time,” he recalled.
When the buck refused to leave, the hunters decided to take action. They approached the deer and attempted to shoo it away, but it would not budge. Instead, it decided to give Yousey and King a piece of its mind—and its headgear—with a quick charge.
“He gave us a good charge there,” Yousey said later, relieved to have escaped the animal’s antlers.
But the story was not over yet. The buck retreated about 20 to 30 feet away. The hunters returned to dressing the other buck and were on their way out of the woods when Yousey turned around and discovered the deer only 15 feet away.
“I stomped my foot at him and said ‘Go on!’ real loud,” Yousey recalled. “As soon as I stomped my foot at him that [buck] charged at us again.”
Yousey and King dropped everything they were carrying and “ran for their lives,” but the buck had been saving up its energy. It caught Yousey with an antler in the back of the knee and sent him flying. Then it rounded on King and hit him in the back, pinning the man to a tree before running off for the last time.
Fortunately, thick clothing saved both men from an undeserved goring. Yousey reported that he and King suffered little more damage than some bruises. The hunters were also not too disgruntled with the buck’s “gratitude,” Yousey said that it was acting on instinct.
“Everything would have been fine and great and dandy if it had just run off,” he said with a laugh. “I think he was so amped, at the same time so drained and so tired. Any animal, even humans, if they’re too tired to run will stand their ground and fight. I think that’s exactly what that buck was doing.”
Despite the scare, Yousey and King did get some venison out of the encounter, as well as an amazing story to tell.
“Needless to say it was a wild, wild hunt,” Yousey concluded.
You can see part of the encounter below: