Lightning Kills Buck

Below is not so much a deer hunting article as it is a general interest story to deer hunters or an conservationist and those interested in the outdoors and nature in general. The account is of a buck that was found dead, apparently killed by a lightning strike as told to me by Randy Stinson.

Randy was on his hunting lease in Bienville Parish, Louisiana on Labor Day. He had just finished clearing a new shooting lane for a new deer stand that sits on a ridge between two ravines. The area is thick as it comes as the shooting lane cuts straight through on a 5 year old cutover. The stand is about 200 yards from the edge of the cutover where it changes to a 20 year old pine stand. The cutover is a bedding area frequented by some decent bucks.

That Monday after clearing the lane, Randy Stinson put out some feed and deployed his trail cam. He was excited about the new lane and its potential to produce some good bucks. He went back on the 12th to check is camera to see what kind of deer activity was occuring at the new stand location. As he was walking to the stand some buzzards flew off, they had been about 20 yards from his deer stand.

As Randy got closer he began to smell the smell of rotting flesh. He knew something had died nearby. Before investigating the smell he decided to check his trail camera for pictures before investigating the smell. He was happy to see a number of pictures a 6 point a 7 point and a smaller 3 point buck.

Randy then went on a search to locate the source of the smell. Following the smell to its source wasn't hard and he quickly dicovered a 6 point lying dead on the side of the ridge behind his stand. It was just starting to be consumed by maggots. He looked for the cause of death and at first drew a blank. The deer had no bullet holes or anything else to explain what had happened. He then noticed a small oak near the dead deer that appeared to have been struck by lightning. The long strip of bark had been blown off the entire length of the tree. Also a tall pine tree nearby also had its bark blown off. The small oak actually leans against this pine about 15 feet up.

The only explanation is that lightning struck the pine tree and jumped to the oak and killed the buck probably as he was lying bedded beneath the small oak. A storm had moved through the area 3 days prior to his discovery.

Having a buck killed by lightning isn't something you want to find in the woods but it does provide a glimps into mother nature carrying out her plans. So I guess the consilation prize is seeing something that you are not likely to see more than once in a lifetime.

by: Mike Guerin & Randy Stinson

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