Avid bowhunter Evan McAnally makes no apologies for his sportsman's lifestyle, filling his freezer every deer season with the meat of animals he's shot in the wild. But when he happened upon a whitetail buck in need of rescue, he was moved by a deeper instinct, that of sympathy, to do what he could to help.
Last month, after driving to the hunting ground his family owns in Stafford County, Kansas to set some food out for the deer and to check on some camera traps, McAnally spotted what appeared to be two dead bucks on the ground, their antlers tightly interlocked from the throes of a fierce battle. One of the animals had been stripped to the bone by coyotes, while the second looked uninjured.
As McAnally drew closer, the buck stood up and made a hopeless attempt to flee, made impossible by the dragging weight of the other's corpse. It didn't take long for the hunter to put together what had happened.
"It was quite the sight, what that one buck had endured," McAnally tells the Wichita Eagle. "I tried to put into perspective what that deer had already gone though, being locked with the other buck and then the coyotes eating it right there.
Though he could have easily ended the deer's life, ending its misery and adding to his venison supply, McAnally was struck with another idea.
"I really wanted to free it if I could," he says.
McAnally, who often films his hunts, positioned his camera phone to record the rescue -- moving in slowly to keep the distressed buck calm. When he was close enough, he tried to extricate the exhausted animal from its dead counterpart with his bare hands, but the struggling animal's antlers were too interlocked to get them separated.
[Warning: graphic images]