Indiana Deer Hunter Dies After Scuffle with Wounded Deer

Posted by: Mike Willand
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tragic is the only word that comes to mind after reading the following story about an Indiana deer hunter who was recently killed after a struggle with a wounded buck. We, at the Hunting Network, feel that every hunter should read the story and educate themselves (whether novice or veteran) on the precautions that should be taken when approaching downed game. As hunters, after that fateful crash is heard, we sometimes forget the fundamentals taught to us by our fathers and their fathers before them. Always approach your downed prey with extreme caution.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and families of the Fort Wayne resident.

As reported by Tina Sfondeles of the Chicago Sun-Times

Authorities believe a Fort Wayne man died after his liver was lacerated during a “scuffle” with a deer he shot in an Indiana state park.

Paul J. Smith, 62, died Monday while participating in the deer reduction hunt at Chain O’Lakes State Park in Albion, Ind., a release from the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources said.

chain o lakes sign

Chain O' Lakes State Park was the scene of a tragedy after a deer hunter was killed after a scuffle with a wounded deer.

An autopsy by the Noble County Coroner’s office ruled the death was due to a lacerated liver, possibly from an encounter the hunter had with a deer he shot.

Smith called his son shortly after 9 a.m. on Monday and left a voice message that he’d shot a buck. But when Smith’s son returned the call about 10:30 a.m., Smith told him that after descending from his treestand to field dress and tag the deer, he discovered the deer was still alive, the release said.

Smith told his son he “scuffled” with the deer before killing it with a knife.

Park officials were called by Smith to help in taking the deer to the check-in station.

A park employee who went to get the deer notified park officials after finding Smith unconscious and seated against a tree.

Chain O’Lakes property manager Sam Boggs and Officer Darren Reed attempted to revive Smith with a portable defibrillator but got no response. They began CPR until EMS first responders arrived but he was pronounced dead at the scene, the release said.

The coroner’s autopsy revealed lacerations on Smith’s liver that were in line with internal bruising, the release said.

Conservation officers closed the investigation after receiving the autopsy results.



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