Most stories involving the death of a trophy buck typically involve a hunter who was lucky enough to cross paths at the right time with the animal or someone who had been keeping tabs on the deer for a while, until they finally had the chance to harvest him. This isn’t one of those stories.
What led to the death of this particular buck wasn’t a time honored tradition, passed down from father to son and so on, it was the simple act of throwing out a glass bottle. Throwing out a bottle on the side of the road seems harmless enough. But this story proves even littering that seems harmless can result in unnecessary suffering.
A particularly large buck was discovered by friends of Bob McCutcheon on January 6, on his 350-acre hunting property. The deer was already dead and had been found laying beside a pond.
“It hadn’t been dead very long, maybe a day,” said Bob. “We checked for bullet holes. None. It didn’t look like it had starved. We thought maybe it had been hit by a car.”
When they looked more closely at the buck, they quickly discovered something bizarre. The deer had a part of a glass bottle in its mouth, lodged around its tongue. The bottle looks like it broke off after the deer got its tongue stuck inside it, eventually cutting off blood flow.
The buck had no bullet holes or signs of trauma to its body, just a tongue that had apparently died and started to rot while it was still alive.
It’s very likely the deer died of dehydration since the bottle likely made it impossible to drink.
“I had a picture of that buck on camera but had never lain eyes on it before,” said Bob. “He was the biggest buck I’ve ever seen on this property. He was a big deer for this area. I don’t know where it got that bottle. We keep a tidy place here. There’s no beer bottles lying around.”
It’s a shame Bob never had the chance to see the buck in person and possibly harvest it. At least then someone would’ve gotten a nice trophy buck and it wouldn’t have suffered so needlessly. It’s really a shame when people can’t respect nature enough to not dispose of garbage in a way that negatively impacts the environment and the animals that inhabit it.
“I’ve been hunting whitetails for 40 years, and I’ve never come across a whitetail that died in such a weird manner,” said Calvin Cox, a QDMA member who hunts across the road from Bob.