A massive 330-pound (approx. 150-kilogram) deer charged and struck a hunter in the head in southwestern France in a close encounter with wildlife in January. The Frenchman, 36-year-old Vincent Saubion, was stalking the deer with a group of friends during a hunting expedition when the incident unfolded.
Although the hunter survived, he sustained horrific facial injuries that ended his hunting trip prematurely and sent him to the emergency operating room.
“I am grateful because there was more fear than actual harm. I haven’t broken anything and I feel as good as I can be,” the hunter, of Basque ethnicity, told local media.
Saubion and a group of friends had been stalking the deer in the forest of Lesperon, located near the Spanish border, when they encountered the huge deer, Unilad reported.
“The deer hit me in the face as it tried to carry on,” he recalled of the incident.
After the attack, which caused a gushing wound to his face, blood loss left Saubion disoriented, he said. And strangely, he announced to his friends that he wanted to keep hunting despite his injuries.
“It felt like I was drunk, but it actually took half my face off,” he admitted.
Fortunately, his friends insisted that he call it quits. A friend fetched a firefighter who was part of the group to administer first aid, and a helicopter was sent to airlift Saubion to Pellegrin Hospital in Bordeaux, where he underwent emergency surgery to stitch up his face.
The hunter required around 50 stitches. The deer had torn a large flap of skin off the hunter’s face, under his left eye and down across his nose, Metro UK reported.
The avid gamesman vowed to continue hunting despite the rough experience, however. “I am still crazy about hunting,” Saubion said. “I have nothing but respect for the game.”
It was not specified whether or not the deer survived the encounter.