Gerald Dabiew Jr. said he feels lucky to be alive after a near 20-minute battle with a 10-point buck last Friday during which he was repeatedly slammed to the ground by the powerful animal.
"I have never been so scared in all my life," the 56-year-old said about the harrowing ordeal that transpired near his remote home in Moira - a small community at the northern tip of the Adirondack Park outside Malone.
"I've never seen anything like this in my life," Dabiew said in a low voice, then added "... and I never want to see it again."
Dabiew said the story unfolded as he was collecting firewood along a log road behind his home. It was early afternoon and clear skies made the job more bearable as he tossed small chunks of wood into the bucket of a skid steer he owns.
A lifelong native of Moira, Dabiew said he paid little attention when a large buck crossed the road in front of him.
After all, he'd seen plenty of deer in the woods near his home, but the sequence of events that was about to play out was something Dabiew had never seen, or heard of before.
"They don't usually walk right up to you, but this deer was coming right at me," he recalled.
At 30 feet, the buck lowered his antlers and charged.
Knocked to the ground and fighting for his life, all Dabiew could think was he had to defend himself or the deer was going to kill him.
"So I fought with it. I wrapped my legs around its neck and locked my arms and hands in its horns and squeezed for all I was worth as it pounded me into the ground," he said.
Minutes seemed like hours as the huge buck continuously picked Dabiew's 230-pound frame up atop its head and slammed him to the ground, driving him into rocks and stumps.