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Big Game Christian Berg: Stuck In The Rut Whitetail

Wounded Buck Kills Indiana Hunter

by Christian Berg   |  November 16th, 2011 29

This is a tragic story, and a good lesson for all hunters. The next time you walk up on a wounded whitetail, don’t try to save a bullet or broadhead by pulling out your knife and trying to do the job yourself. Just make a good follow-up shot and be done with it.

Indiana Closes Investigation into Hunter’s Death

ALBION – Indiana Conservation Officers have closed the investigation of a hunter’s death at Chain O’Lakes State Park after 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.

Paul J. Smith, 62, of Fort Wayne, died Monday while participating in the deer reduction hunt at Chain O’Lakes.

According to Conservation Officer Erick Bolt of DNR Law Enforcement, Smith called his son shortly after 9 a.m. and left a voice message that he’d shot a buck. When Smith’s son returned the called around 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. Smith told his son he scuffled with the deer before killing it with a knife.

Cpl. Bolt said Smith called park officials by cell phone at about 12:30 p.m. to request help in transporting a deer to the reduction hunt check-in station.

A park employee who went to retrieve the deer found Smith unconscious and seated against a tree and relayed Smith’s condition to park officials. Chain O’Lakes property manager Sam Boggs and Indiana Conservation Officer Darren Reed immediately responded. Reed was off duty but at the park as a participant in the deer reduction hunt.

Reed and Boggs attempted to revive Smith with a portable defibrillator but got no response. They initiated CPR until EMS first responders arrived and pronounced Smith dead at the scene.

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



  • James Kenyon

    wow so sorry to I know I allways shoot until it hits the ground,I have been given guff for this theory but never lost one dooing this.

    • most happy

      that gutless sob got what he deserved. you mess with the deer you get the horns LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! dan happy

      • Chris

        most happy sounds most worthless. Go to a tree hugging site and cry with the rest of your POS friends. You are probably one of those worthless POS's occupying. Grow some brains, get some common sense, get informed, go get a job, and work to be a more useful cog in the wheel of mankind.

        • God

          Lol the guy is right. And while I cant speak for him i have a job and i probably make more in a week than you do in a year. The pathetic excuse of a human being deserved what he got. Who takes pleasure annually from killing innocent animals? At least hes only laughing at this sad sack – hes not some inbred redneck getting off on killing

      • deer hunter

        how dare you say something like that about an innocent elderly man. hunting is a way of life, hunting also happens to be one of my favorite hobbies, that does not make me an evil person.

      • MO Bowhunter

        I didnt know anyone could be so disrespectful. Wheather you are for hunting or against it, a man lost his life. Bowhunting is my passion, not only for the sport and venison but if there were no hunting season then deer would die of more terrible deaths. Deer would die of disease, starvation, and would be getting hit by cars, hopefully yours. Just think of the programs to stop hunger, the hush program, share the harvest and many more. I think you just need to realize what your saying. You are happy that a human being died while he was conserving the sport of hunting. You are pathetic. I love bowhunting and I would love to see someone try to stop me. My prayers are with the family for there loss. Hopefully he lost his life doing what he truly loved.

    • even happier

      oh yeah it's doing you fricking rube

    • DCM

      Shoot to kill the first time every time — and you will never have this problem-it does take dedication and continual practice — if you cannot kill with one shot don't take it — this is not a game and never was. A WWII small arms specialist in formed me my behind the ear hit was a lucky shot as I was aiming at the bucks eye , that was almost forty years ago and a lesson I have never forgotten.

  • Mike

    Karma. : )

    • AntiMike

      Not cool, Mike. You should be ashamed that you're such a disgusting human being.

    • Phil

      Someone loses their life and you say "karma" with a smiley face? You have some serious issues!

    • Chris

      Actually, Karma will be a deer going through your car windshield and killing your tree hugging ass after over population has left deer no choice but to travel to find new food sources after exhausting those they had previously had have vanished. Go climb to the very top of the tree to hug it next time… and hopefully you'll do the world a favor and fall to YOUR death. POS.

    • WV Hillbilly

      I would like to meet you and most happy at the same time so you could mess with the hunter and get a boot in your ass

  • Mooney

    You guys ought to be ashamed of yourself, a man lost his life and you have the nerve to say he got what he deserved? Are you kidding me! If that was your father I bet your opinion would be drastically different. If this post wasn't something children might see, I would really give you a piece of my mind. I hope you three get whats coming to you.

    • nooky

      I totally agree ruthless

  • chevyboy01

    i agree with mooney you guys are horrible, hunting is a way of life for some and i dont think there is anything wrong with it. everyone does something that may be wrong say if you smoke or drink you desevre to get cancer and die cause i have to breath your second hand smoke just an example i dont believe anyone deserves to die you both need to grow up

    • God

      Nobody deserves to die? Except for the deer right? Doing something wrong is one thing – harming a living creature and taking pleasure from it is another

  • KMan

    Such brave and noble words from anonymous children. Same sort of people that kick over gravestones. Real classy way to use the internet.

  • Virginia Hunter

    To the Smith family, I am sorry for your loss. No words can comfort in this time, but know that a prayer will go up for your family. I come from a long line of hunters, and I would never want to see any of my family killed doing what they so greatly enjoy. Again I'm sorry for your loss.

    To Mike. The man was trying to keep the deer from suffering. What is Karma about that? Do you wish death on the guys that supply beef, chicken, fish, and other sources of meat at the grocery store? That's a stupid comment coming from someone shut up in a room playing video games. Had your ancestors not hunted deer or other means of food, you wouldn't be here now.

    And to "most happy", there are no words to describe what you said. I can only say I hope you truely don't feel that way. And if you do, hopefully you'll seriously consider the severity of the comment you made. Perhaps the next time you have a comment of this nature, you should keep it to yourself and work to never have a thought such as this again.

    • Bowtech destroyer

      agreed!!! (Virginia Hunter)

  • Predator

    Im not against hunting whatsoever, i shot 9 deer already this year. But why do ppl always seem to try n pick sides n place blame in the event of a human death? Here, the guys 62 yrs old, n he croaks from a f***in' buise… its not funny, he probably didnt have it coming; he was an old man who appears may have had some type of underlying health problems noone may have known about. Just a speculation, not trying to affend the family or anything, but it makes one wonder if he may have suffered a similiar fate had he for instance, fell off a bicycle or down the stairs… point is, you cant blame hunting, nor do we need to justify it because this man happened to die while engaging in the activity.
    The anti-hunting freaks out there are nothing more than facinating displays of human psychological pathologies. You see something being hunted as innocent and defenseless, and project ur own parental instincts that nature intended u to use for the care and preservation for ur own offspring onto the animals being hunted.
    Its a PREY ANIMAL… The hunting of prey animals and the consumption of their flesh is the only reason u have the intelect required to possess those kinds of "emotion"-inducing instincts in the 1st place. Assuming u ppl cant have children(cuz ur either homosexual or nobody will have sex u) consider adopting a kid(or maybe even a shelter dog u can pretend is ur kid) so u can worry about what ur supposed to be worrying about, not the hunters who have every right to do what theyre doing despite your subjective feelings, or the wild animals, who are now, because of human intelect , conserved and their populations are regulated to avoid problems w their numbers becoming to low or to high. Either situation is a bad thing in respect to the health and preservation of natural resources, and hunting is the only time proven method of preventing either situation from occuring in deer populations found in and around human civilization.

  • deer hunter

    So sad. The scary thing is is just TODAY me and my dad were hunting and he shot a buck and it was still alive, since we had muzzleloaders and it takes for ever to reload, we thought about knifing it. good thing we decided not to.

  • tony

    to the jackass that commented, ,,,,most happy i believe,,,,, id like to meet your desrespectful ass someday and teach you why you should nt open your mouth,to mike,,,,, can you imagine how tough that older man must of been to take that kind of beating from that deer,,, and yet no plea to help him…. nothing but respect is due that man,,,, and my regrets to his family,,,,,,sorry for your loss,,,,, your dad was one hell of a older man!!!!

  • Jimmy

    This happened about 5 miles from were I hunt and live. It was felt throughout the hunting community. Also had a buddy fall this season while moving stands broke two vertabraes. Makes you realize how serious hunting is and one wrong move can be painful.


    To all who said that he desvers what he got you should have your ass beat for that… that is so disrespectuful. so stop the nasty coments

    • DeRosset

      About as disrespectful as hunting for sport and bragging about it.

  • DeRosset

    When you go out hunting, you assume the risks. That involves getting killed by your prey. I have never been a fan of hunting and I’ve grown to detest it more and more. Cold as this may sound, I have no sympathy for anyone who gets killed in the process of hunting an unarmed animal, human or otherwise. If you feel bad for him, that’s fine, but don’t expect everyone else to feel sorry for someone getting killed in the process of killing.

    • Hunt2013toeat

      You my friend are a piece of trash. Human / Animal huh which one is more important or precious . Human, wins each time unless you are some radical weird activist?! Are you a terrorist?

      • DeRosset

        No. A terrorist terrorizes. One doesn’t have to be a terrorist not to side with a human every time. I don’t know any more about you than you know about me, but it seems like you’re the one who is trash.

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