Crushed: North Carolina Buck Expires Via Downed Tree

Crushed: North Carolina Buck Expires Via Downed Tree
What Dusty Pratt assumed to be a whitetail shed lying next to a downed tree turned out to be something else entirely. These photos show the remains of a whitetail skeleton that was pressed into the ground under the weight of the fallen tree. Astonishingly, the tree fell directly in the center of the 8-point rack. (Photos courtesy of Dusty Pratt)

This shed-hunting excursion quickly took a turn nobody could see coming.

Dusty Pratt and his canine companion were exploring the woods near their home in East Bend, North Carolina, on March 28, 2017. When Dusty stopped for a moment to rest, he made a strange discovery.

At first, the avid hunter was excited to see what looked to be a shed antler resting beside a fallen tree. But as he walked closer to get a better look, he was shocked to see not one but two antlers wedged into the ground. They were wrapped perfectly around the sides of the tree trunk.

When Dusty examined the scene more closely, it became obvious the antlers weren’t sheds. Instead, the 8-point rack was still attached to a skull plate that was pressed beneath the fallen tree.

Dusty returned with a chainsaw to investigate his find. After sawing apart the fallen tree, he discovered the skeletal remains of a buck pressed into the ground. As best Dusty could tell, the tree somehow had fallen directly between the buck’s antlers, crushing him and then pinning him to the ground. Against all odds, only one antler tip had been slightly damaged from the weight of the crashing timber.


Dusty notes that several other downed trees were scattered along the creek bank where he found the buck. He guesses these other blowdowns must have occurred around the same time, clearly during a harsh storm. Dusty says finding the buck was a “one in a billion” occurrence, and he’s probably not far from right about that.


It seems there’s no end to the mysterious, abnormal things people find while exploring Mother Nature’s haunts. Life in the wild is raw and brutal, and danger is always lurking. Whether it’s by a predator’s fang and claw or by some other random occurrence, wild animals expire from natural causes every day. The crushed North Carolina buck found by Dusty Pratt is just another example of how unexpected the end can be.


Recommended for You

Here's how to crack the summer code. Early Season

3 Types of Late-Summer Bucks & How to Hunt Them

Garrett Tucker

Here's how to crack the summer code.

We break down the truth on these cellular-enabled scouters. Scouting

Will Wireless Trail Cameras Make You a Better Hunter?

Tony J. Peterson

We break down the truth on these cellular-enabled scouters.

Restore the predator balance on your land. Land Management

Managing Hog & Coyote Populations for Whitetail Properties

Mark Wooley

Restore the predator balance on your land.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Deer Factory: Minnesota Property Overview

Deer Factory: Minnesota Property Overview

James Kroll and Pat Hogan begin a new Deer Factory project in west central Minnesota.

NAW: Predator Management

NAW: Predator Management

On this edition of "Deer Factory," Dr. James Kroll and Pat Hogan discuss ways to manage predators when it comes to your deer hunting property.

Putting a New Spin on an Old Whitetail Hunt

Putting a New Spin on an Old Whitetail Hunt

Gordon Whittington returns home to Texas to relive one of his favorite deer hunts of all-time, and make new memories.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

In terms of coloration, which whitetails are the rarest of all? Most hunters would claim that Deer Behavior & Facts

Rarest Whitetails Of All?

Gordon Whittington - September 22, 2010

In terms of coloration, which whitetails are the rarest of all? Most hunters would claim that

To hear many serious trophy bowhunters tell it, Kentucky must be a figment of someone's fertile United States

Best Spots for Bowhunting Kentucky Trophy Bucks

Gordon Whittington - July 21, 2016

To hear many serious trophy bowhunters tell it, Kentucky must be a figment of someone's...

Here's how to crack the summer code. Early Season

3 Types of Late-Summer Bucks & How to Hunt Them

Garrett Tucker

Here's how to crack the summer code.

See More Stories

More Whitetail

Part three: The journey toward Luke Brewster's fateful arrow release continues. Trophy Bucks

Brewster Buck Revisit: A Bowhunt for the Ages

Lynn Burkhead

Part three: The journey toward Luke Brewster's fateful arrow release continues.

As the 2019 season approaches, we revisit the record-setting Brewster Buck in a four-part series. Trophy Bucks

Reliving the Impossible: The Brewster Buck Story

Lynn Burkhead

As the 2019 season approaches, we revisit the record-setting Brewster Buck in a four-part...

This Kentucky buck is proof that whitetails don't have to hit the record books to garner everyone's attention! Industry

Unique Early-Season Trophy Arrowed in Kentucky

Riley Emery - September 23, 2019

This Kentucky buck is proof that whitetails don't have to hit the record books to garner...

See More Whitetail

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.