GRAPHIC: Group offering reward after deer with crossbow bolt in head rescued by TWRA

A crossbow bolt was sticking out of the mature buck’s head when TWRA crews found it.
A crossbow bolt was sticking out of the mature buck’s head when TWRA crews found it.
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 10:54 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2022 at 2:45 PM EDT
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HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A mature buck was almost poached by a crossbow bolt before Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency crews were able to rescue the animal. Now, Help Asheville Bears is offering a $3,500 reward for anyone who has information on the incident.

The animal was spotted in a Hendersonville neighborhood with a crossbow bolt sticking out from its head. Photos of the animal began circulating on social media before TWRA wildlife officers were able to locate the buck.

When the officers found him, they tranquilized him and removed the bolt from his head; however, the broadhead was left inside as officials feared causing additional damage to the animal by trying to remove it. A topical medicine was also applied to the wound, according to TWRA officials.

The buck was shot out of season. The August, Private Land/Antlered deer-only hunt is the next opportunity to legally harvest a deer is Aug. 26-28.

Moving forward, TWRA officials will monitor it for several months unless it is harvested legally during the August velvet hunt or when deer season opens in September, a spokesperson told WVLT News.

When asked if wildlife officials believed the animal would make a full recovery, a spokesperson said, “Deer are very resilient and are some of the toughest creatures in nature. We are optimistic that this deer will recover and be able to function as normal.”

TWRA officials are asking anyone with information about the attempted poaching to contact Sumner Co. wildlife officer or the Region II Office at 615-781-6622.

Those with information can also contact Help Asheville Bears by calling 855-767-2327.

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