Rodney Buffett entered the woods on the weekend as the hunter, but emerged hours later on a medevac chopper as the hunted.
Buffett survived a five-minute battle with a wounded moose near Grand Bank on Newfoundland’s south coast.
He was released from hospital on Monday morning without any broken bones, or bottles of moose meat, but did return home to Fortune with a souvenir.
“I’ve got hoof prints in my forehead,” he told the St. John’s Morning Show.
Moose fights back after being shot
The moose-mauling began when Buffett spotted the animal on Saturday morning. He sized up the 14-point bull before taking two shots, both of which hit the animal, he said.
The moose went down quickly and put its four legs in the air. An experienced hunter, Buffet began to approach the animal, as he has done many times before.
“I thought he was dead. I laid my gun down and turned back to my fiancée and told her to bring down my knives. When I turned around again he was up.”
The moose lunged toward the hunter and drilled him with its antlers. Buffett said the moose tossed its head back and flicked him up in the air before he crashed to the ground.
The moose began stomping on him as Buffett tried to grab hold of it.
“I held onto his antlers and tried to steer him away,” he said. “But it seemed like forever.”
Buffett’s fiancée watched helplessly from a hill above him, binoculars pressed to her eyes.
Airlifted to hospital in St. John’s
After Buffett landed some kicks to the moose’s forehead, the animal let him go and trotted off into the woods.
“I couldn’t move after that,” he said.
Paramedics made a three-kilometre trek through the bush to find Buffett. They called for help and a medevac helicopter came from St. John’s to airlift him to hospital.
Buffett received stitches and staples to his head, hands and chest, but was otherwise intact. He was held in hospital for extensive testing over the weekend, but said he did not suffer a concussion or internal injuries.
“They tells me I’m hard-headed,” he said.
Despite the terrifying experience, Buffett plans to head back into the woods as soon as possible. An avid hunter since he was old enough to shoot a gun, he won’t be deterred by one bad day in the woods.
“I’m hoping to be back moose hunting again about Friday or Saturday with any luck at all,” he said. “I’d go today, but no, [the doctor] wouldn’t let me.”
While he can joke about the experience now, Buffett was too shaken up to sleep on Saturday night.
“Every time I closed my eyes I could see the moose coming after me.… It’s something I’ll never forget.”