If you have ever encountered the largest species of the deer family, there is no questioning their size and brute strength. Weighing upwards of 1,500+ pounds, these majestic animals are a treat to behold and even more stunning to hunt.

That said, much like any other big game mammal, they deserve all the respect in the world and extreme caution should be taken when approaching one.

Last week a Newfoundland hunter found that out the hard way.  An experienced hunter, Rodney Buffett was hunting moose on Newfoundland’s south coast with his fiancé when a large 14-point bull presented himself. After taking two carefully-placed shots, the hunter approached the animal as he had done many times prior. Noting that the moose quickly hit the ground with four legs raised, Buffett thought it safe to begin the arduous process of field dressing the animal.

Signaling to his fiancé, perched up on a hill, to bring him his knives and processing tools, he was surprised as the animal suddenly sprung to its feet.

“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,” Buffett told CBC News.

The moose quickly advanced the helpless hunter, flinging him into the air with leverage from the animal’s large antlers. As Buffett hit the ground, the moose began to stomp on his chest and face as Buffett strained to control the animal by grabbing onto the antlers that had previously sent him airborne.

Kicking the moose in the head, the animal finally retreated, leaving Buffett nearly lifeless in the field.

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Image: Rodney Buffett

Alerting officials, paramedics then made the three-kilometer hike through the woods to locate the hunter at which point he was safely airlifted to a hospital in St. John’s.

He was treated in hospital with stitches and staples to his head, hands, and chest but was otherwise in good shape considering the physical altercation.

He was held in the hospital for more extensive testing through the weekend before eventually being released.

With hopes of being back in the woods soon, Buffett joked that he would have immediately gone back in if only the doctor would have allowed it.