Jennings County man survives deer attack

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JENNINGS COUNTY – Family members say a Jennings County man is fortunate to have survived after a deer attacked him.

Samuel Combest, 60, owns several deer. They are kept inside a pen behind his Jennings County home.

“He loves them, yes, but I mean, he’s never had an incident with them before,” said Dee Ponsler, Combest’s daughter. She remembered getting a call Saturday after 10 a.m from her father.

“I got a call from my dad and he was like grunting and couldn’t hardly talk. He said ‘get Gary (because) Bucky got me’ and I just freaked,” Ponsler told Fox59.

Combest said he fed Bucky inside the pen that morning and closed the gate. He said it came open, so he tried to get the animal back inside. Combest pushed Bucky’s antler toward the gate. Bucky went after him.

“He was rolled from like the gate. He wrestled with Bucky and Dad told us that he literally took Bucky’s horns and shoved them into the ground and I guess that’s probably how he got away from him,” Ponsler said.

“I’m thankful…he’s lucky that he’s still alive ’cause, I mean, it could have gotten real serious,” said his son Sam Combest.

The elder Combest has a gash down his leg. His right calf was punctured.

“Me and my sister, who lives right up the road, we got down here and found dad with his leg gashed open. We were very lucky. It could’ve been a lot worse,” Ponsler said.

Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Gary Catron said people need to remember wild animals can be unpredictable.

“In the case of people keeping captive deer –even legally–you can’t let your guard down,” he said.

“These animals can be, you know, several hundred pounds and this time of year, you know, a buck that has antlers…he’s got some weapons that just the sheer energy of him making a lunge can result in some damaging injuries to people.”

DNR said Combest had a license that expired in 2010, but Combest said he planned to take care of it. DNR will turn the case over to the prosecutor’s office, saying Combest could face a misdemeanor for violating his permit.

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