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A northern Hawkes Bay man says he'll probably eat his pet stag after it attacked and gored him, inflicting multiple puncture wounds.
Toby Taylor, 50, was discharged from Hawkes Bay Hospital yesterday with "holes where there shouldn't be holes" after his pet stag attacked him on his property at Frasertown on Sunday.
Mr Taylor's hand-reared stag, named Col, has lived in a pen on his property for six years. Two hinds are also kept on the property.
Mr Taylor is a keen boatie and his boat shed is located in the stag's pen.
He keeps his boat outside the pen when the stag ruts in April, because the beast can get aggressive.
After the rut, it takes some time for the stag to cool down before Mr Taylor can return his boat to the shed.
On Sunday morning, Mr Taylor visited the stag's pen, gave the animal a pat and noticed it was in a good mood.
"He's really friendly. You can pat him like a dog."
He decided to seize the opportunity to return his boat to its shed.
Mr Taylor drove the boat into the stag's pen with a four-wheeler, but unfortunately, he was followed by his son's pet dog.
"The dog wound him up.
"My son's little fox terrier started chasing him, and then the stag started chasing the foxie, and where did the foxie run to hide? Over by me."
The dog took cover behind Mr Taylor's bike and the stag attacked him instead, goring him with its antlers and driving up to 10 spikes into his body.
The worst puncture wounds were to his thigh and groin and there was one to his chest.
"I could feel it going in centimetre by centimetre," Mr Taylor said.
He held the stag's antlers and wrestled with it as it drove him against the bike.
"I tried to run around the side of the bike but he beat me there and stabbed me up the arse. The foxie ran away when he saw what was happening."
Mr Taylor clambered on his bike and though the stag tried to climb on after him, managed to drive to his house, where the pain set in: "I realised I got hurt, because I felt the blood running into my boot."
Mr Taylor's four sons were home and his eldest, Kurt, administered first aid while they waited for emergency services.
"If my boys weren't there to help me it could have been a different story."
He was taken to Wairoa Hospital by ambulance and flown to Hawkes Bay Hospital by the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter.
Asked what would become of Col, the stag, Mr Taylor said, "he'll probably get eaten". It would ensure the stag didn't attack anybody else.
The rescue helicopter crew wanted venison sausages and "everyone's putting an order in".
"We live on venison in our house; all my boys are keen hunters."
He hopes to resume work as Wairoa College sports co-ordinator by the end of the week.
- Harrison Christian of Hawke's Bay Today