GRAND BANK, N.L. — Predator turned into prey during a brawl between man and moose in Newfoundland after a gunned-down bull bounced back with a vengeance, sending its hunter to hospital in a helicopter with a hoof-shaped bruise on his forehead.
Rodney Buffett said he set out into the woods near Grand Bank on Newfoundland's south coast Saturday with his friends and his fiancee in the hopes of getting an early start on moose-hunting season, but wound up being hunted by his game.
It all began when Buffett, an avid hunter, spotted a massive bull moose about 200 yards in the distance, he said.
Buffett sized up his target and fired two shots. The moose dropped in its tracks, he said, so he ran over to inspect the wounded animal.
When I turned around again, he was on his four legs running with his head down and his antlers coming after me.Rodney Buffett
His fiancee was standing on a hill with his buddies, Buffett said, looking at the scene through a pair of binoculars. He called for them to bring him a knife — then the moose flicked its legs.
"I just thought it was the nerves going out of his body," said Buffett. "When I turned around again, he was on his four legs running with his head down and his antlers coming after me."
Buffett said the moose plowed into him, piercing his skin and thrashing around its 14-point antlers.
The bull tossed its head and chucked him into the air, he said. When Buffett hit the ground, he said the moose trampled over him several times, branding him with its hooves.
The moose-man tango seemed to go on "forever," he said, but likely lasted about five minutes.
Buffet said he grabbed the animal by the antlers and kicked him in the head and after a struggle, the moose ran off and presumably died.
"He was too old to be doing that. He definitely bled out," said Buffett. "The adrenaline going through him too, I guess."
Buffett's friends ran to the road to flag down paramedics, who called for a helicopter to airlift the 38-year-old man to a hospital in St. John's.
The one that got away
Buffett said his wounds were stitched and his punctured ribs were stapled, but he managed to escape serious injury.
He spent a night at his sister's house in the city before heading back to his home in Fortune.
He was still taking pain medication Monday, but said he's otherwise been in good spirits, with a slight caveat.
Maybe it's the hoof print on his forehead, but Buffett can't seem to get his mind off the moose that got away.
I'd go back hunting tomorrow if they'd let me. Nobody will let me go.
"I really was disappointed I never got him," said Buffett. "There's a lot of meat going to waste there."
Despite the trauma of his last excursion, Buffett said is eager to get another chance to bag a moose this season, hopefully sooner rather than later.
"I'd go back hunting tomorrow if they'd let me. Nobody will let me go," he said. "I'd go this evening, if they let me."
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