Man attacked by six-point buck near Saratoga Lake

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Man attacked by six-point buck near Saratoga Lake

JEFF REYNOLDS, The Saratogian, (NY)

December 09, 2002

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- One local man almost made his very own ''When Animals Attack'' episode but managed to avoid a potentially serious injury.

Late Friday night, David Bartholomew, who resides near Saratoga Lake, was in the woods behind his home searching for his dog, who had escaped the house without a leash.

As Bartholomew approached his half-Lab, half-chow, which was barking loudly and uncontrollably, Bartholomew realized it was holding a six-point buck hostage.

Bartholomew told The Saratogian the deer attempted to run but could not escape the dog.

Once Bartholomew got within 25 feet of the deer, it ran off, only to be chased by the dog.

This cat-and-mouse game continued for almost an hour until finally the deer crossed a small, 6-inch deep stream and the ice broke. The dog crept to the streambank, where Bartholomew jumped on him and held him down.

When Bartholomew looked up, the deer was standing over him, only a few feet away.

''OK, you can go now,'' Bartholomew recalled saying. But the deer had other plans.

Suddenly, the buck reared up on its hind legs (reaching a height of nearly 7 feet, Bartholomew estimated) and came crashing down on Bartholomew.

''It happened so fast,'' Bartholomew said. ''I was laying on the ground, and he just seemed to bounce off me. I kind of felt my ribs bow and bend. I remember yelling, 'Hey, what did I do? Get out of here!'''

Luckily, the buck's horns went on either side of Bartholomew's body and he suffered only bruises from being hit in the ribs by the deer's forehead.

''I thought of how lucky I was, as it could have been my chest or throat that was struck by an antler,'' he said. A neighbor later told him he had seen the deer in the area before, with a mate.

''It made me wonder if the deer was just protecting his mate from my dog -- well, he won't be getting loose anytime soon.''
 


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