RIDGE MANOR — It was one tough, old buck.
A large male deer that was seriously injured when struck by a truck withstood a few bullets fired point-blank to its head by a Hernando County deputy trying to end its misery before finally succumbing.
According to a sheriff's report, Deputy Stephen Dillon responded to a call early Tuesday about a deer that had been struck by a pickup truck at Cortez Boulevard and McKethan Road. The deer's hindquarters were damaged, its hips smashed and it was losing a lot of blood, the report states.
The deputy received permission to put the deer down and fired two rounds from his agency-issued .22-caliber Glock pistol into the deer's head.
"To my surprise, this did not kill the deer instantly, so a third shot was fired," Dillon said in the report.
As he checked the deer for vital signs, "again, to my surprise, the deer began moving.'' After moving the deer to the side of the road, the deputy fired two more rounds and the deer died.