A Marshall County man is recovering after a deer attack behind his home. However, he is facing criminal charges after it was discovered he was illegally keeping the deer - and several others - as pets.
J.R. Dunsmore said he loves animals and has some pretty exotic ones, which used to include seven deer in a pen behind his home for the last six years. He said three were distressed and given to him as babies. The rest were later born at his home.
A week and a half ago, Dunsmore said the nine-point buck lifted him into the air and slammed him against a tree some 20 yards away. His injuries were serious: multiple stab wounds from the deer's antlers, including one that blinded him in one eye.
Dunsmore estimated the attack went on for three minutes before he was able to escape. He said he believes the attack happened because the deer are in the rut mating season.
Neighbor Linda Kritner said she's happy he made it out alive. "I saw him just before it happened. It's amazing that he made it," she said.
Dunsmore begins his first facial reconstructive surgery next week. The deer have since been removed from the property.
Wildlife officials said having deer as pets is a big no-no. Dunsmore faces seven citations of illegally possessing deer. He is due in court Dec. 18.