Kent Co. woman attacked by buck: ‘I thought it was done, but it wasn’t’

Shawna Hoekstra holds up her hard-fought trophy. (Courtesy photo)

ALTO, Mich. (WOOD) — A Kent County woman got a big surprise Tuesday when a deer she presumed dead attacked her.

Shawna Hoekstra and her children spotted the deer moving in a field near 60th Street and Morse Lake Avenue SE in Alto about 9:30 a.m.

“We got out our binoculars and telescope [and] took a look at it. It ended up being a deer with a good portion of its rump shot off,” said the wife and mother of three.

Hoekstra figured a hunter shot the buck and lost track of it.

She followed it. Her plan was to wait for the deer’s demise and dress it for the meat.

But Hoekstra didn’t wait long enough. As she closed in on the 150-pound buck, she realized it was still alive, hurt and scared.

“I thought it was done, but it wasn’t,” said Hoekstra.

The 10-point buck couldn’t walk — but it could lunge.

“Coming at me with that kind of rack, with that many points on it, I could be really injured. And that’s why I grabbed the rack, to get control of the head,” said Hoekstra. “And in grabbing the antlers, I just threw it to the ground and sat on it.”

At first, Hoekstra figured she could control the animal by sitting on it. She was wrong. The animal thrashed and eventually, Hoekstra became the one who was pinned.

“I didn’t get scared until it had my leg pinned. At that point, we’re calling 911. I knew I was in a bad way once I got my leg under it,” said Hoekstra.

Hoekstra said the buck’s atypical pointed rack also posed a threat to her face.

For a half hour, Hoekstra struggled with the buck. Her father eventually tracked her down and called 911.

An Alto firefighter managed to hold down the buck while a Kent County Sheriff’s deputy put down the animal.

Hoekstra said she learned a lesson from her close encounter.

“I got too close too soon, [that] is the mistake I made,” she said.

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