A deer hunter has died after the buck he shot attacked him when he went to check whether it was dead.
Thomas Alexander, 66, died on Tuesday near Yelleville, Arkansas after shooting the buck with a muzzleloading rifle, officials said.
Stephens said that it appears Alexander was approaching the fallen buck when the animal got up and attacked him.
'I don't know how long he left it there, but he went up to check it to make sure it was dead. And evidently it wasn't,' Stephens said.
'It got back up, and he had several puncture wounds on his body,' he said.
Alexander was able to contact family members, who called for an ambulance, but he later died at a local hospital.
Officials say that it isn't clear whether Alexander died of the injuries inflicted by the deer, or a medical emergency like a heart attack.
'It's my understanding there's not going to be an autopsy, so we may never know what actually happened,' Stephens said.
Stephens said that all hunters are urged to watch a fallen deer for 30 minutes to see whether the animal moves before approaching.
He said that it wasn't clear how long Alexander waited to approach the deer that attacked him, and that he may well have taken proper precautions.
Friends and family remembered Alexander as beloved grandfather and avid outdoorsman.
'My heart is broken as this world has lost a very beautiful man,' friend Kim Killingsworth wrote in an online tribute.
'I did have a great opportunity to hunt and fish with Tom a couple of times and enjoyed hunting on his property several times. He was a kind and sweet man and I know he was a wonderful father and grandfather.'