Everett Gray of rural Cornish said he and a neighbor were talking Thursday night when the buck appeared out of the woods. Gray, who said he's been a hunter for about 10 years, went to get his rifle. When he returned, the deer had gone, but he waited to see if the animal would reappear. It did and Gray got off a shot from about 20 yards away, striking the male deer, Gray told the New Hampshire Union-Leader of Manchester, N.H.
He said the animal bounded back into the woods where he found it crouched, apparently dead.
As Gray approached the animal and patted it on the head, he said to thank it for giving its life, the deer leaped up and dug its antlers into Gray's abdomen. One of the antlers made a four-inch puncture but did not hit any major organs, Gray said.
"He drove the horn into me, picked me up and pounded me into the ground," Gray said. "He was just thrashing and I'm holding onto his horns -- I thought he killed me."
Gray told the Union-Leader he's still haunted by the attack.
"I've been doing this for 10 years," he said. "I think I'm retiring."