8-Point Buck Goes Krogering

GON Staff | April 19, 2001

An errant 8-point buck went on a wild rampage through an Ellenwood Kroger store before five shoppers, who happen to be deer hunters, and the store co-manager tackled the deer and eventually released it back to the wild.

At about 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20, Rick Burdett, of Stockbridge, was about to exit the store, located at East Fairview and Panola Road in Henry County, when he saw the buck coming down the sidewalk past the adjacent Blockbuster store.

Rick Burdett (left) and three other men hold the 8-point buck down before it was carried from the Kroger store and released.

“There was a guy bringing in a line of buggies from the parking lot, and I had just tripped the automatic door opener,” said Rick. “When the deer reached the open door, it turned into the store and ran through the check-out line toward the back of the store. I was right behind him yelling, ‘Get out of the way—it’s a wild deer!'”

According to Rick, the deer was a 2 1/2-year-old 8-point buck with a 13- or 14-inch spread. He estimated the deer weighed 140 to 150 pounds.

“The buck ran all the way to the back of the store and jumped over the meat counter,” said Rick. “Then it ran through the produce section, pawing through the lettuce, knocking it out on the floor. People were going berserk. It was a scene.”

The deer cleared a 5- or 6-foot tall display case and went into the deli area—scaring the women there into the walk-in cooler. Then the deer went into the restaurant area and was jumping into the plate-glass window and crashing back on the tables and chairs.

“We decided we were going to have to do something to keep the deer from hurting itself,” said Rick. “The next time he fell back off the glass, five of us dove in on him. I got his antlers, and the other guys got his legs.”

The deer’s legs were duct-taped together and an employee’s apron was draped over the grunting buck’s eyes to help calm the animal.

“What was amazing was the concern by everyone involved to get the deer safely out of the store,” said Rick.

Animal control was called in, but no tranquilizer was available. Finally, about 30 minutes after it had entered the store, the deer was picked up and taken outside.

The men were unable to lift the thrashing deer into the bed of a pickup. Henry County police then stopped traffic on East Fairview Road so the deer could be carried across the road. The buck was placed on the ground facing the woods, and the tape securing its legs was cut.

When last seen, the grocery store buck had its white tail flying as it sprinted for the trees.


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