Deer Hunter Becomes the Butt of Jokes

Sometimes hunting deer can be a real pain in the butt.

Trying to bag a buck for a pair of friends, Mississippi hunter Lonnie Jones got an early Christmas gift from Rudolph — all over his backside, according to The Clarion-Ledger.

"I guess I'm just a living example of the saying 'a good deer hunter always gets his buck in the end,'" Jones told The Clarion-Ledger. "I just wish it hadn't been in my rear end. People around here aren't letting me forget it."

Jones, 54, said he embarked on the muzzle-loader hunt earlier this month at Hillside National Wildlife Refuge on behalf of two female friends at work.

"There's these two girls in radiology, Rosie and Debra, who'd been asking me to get them a deer," Jones, director of respiratory therapy at the King's Daughter's Hospital in Yazoo City, told The Clarion-Ledger.

"I went to Hillside to hunt ... you know how it is, if you get a chance to hunt at Hillside during the muzzle-loader season, you have to take it."

Even though the Prentiss native and former therapist at St. Dominic's in Jackson said he'd already bagged the biggest buck of his life earlier, Jones climbed up in a lock-on ladder stand at Hillside to get his co-workers a deer for their larders.

"It wasn't long before this buck started coming," Jones told The Clarion-Ledger. "It came right under me. It was a 6-point, a 4X2, but it was a big deer, probably 200 pounds. When it got right under me, he spooked and ran about 60 yards out.

"Then he made a mistake, stopping broadside in the trail," he told the paper. "I shot him and he went down and started dragging himself into a thicket."

In the middle of dense growth, the pain-in-the-rump hunter came upon the buck.

"I don't like that part of it, you know, walking up on a downed buck, and I usually just poke it in the stomach to see if it's dead," he told The Clarion-Ledger.

"But this time it was thick and I grabbed it by the antlers. He didn't like that and he went crazy. He started shaking his head back and forth and he about ripped my finger off."

Jones' shot had paralyzed the buck's back legs, he said.

"The front part was still working, and working good," Jones told The Clarion-Ledger. "When I turned, he was pulling himself along with his front legs and hitting me in the butt, lifting me off the ground — three times.

"I ran out of the thicket and decided to go in and approach it from another angle. This time he got me in the side of the leg," he told the paper. "Then I just shot it two more times in the chest to put him out of his misery."

Jones ended up with hematomas (a medical term for big purple bruises) on both sides of his rump and on one leg.

"Yeah, it was colorful. It's amazing how strong they are," the rear-ended hunter told The Clarion-Ledger. "He was pulling himself along and getting after me and lifting me off the ground.

"I was doing a favor for a couple of friends," Jones told the paper. "From now on, if I'm getting a deer for somebody, it'll be a doe."

— Thanks to Out There reader Chris J.

Eat Your Heart Out, Abominable Snowman

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — With the help of his kids and neighbors, Billy Ray Powers built more than just a snowman — they've dubbed his 16-foot-plus-tall creation "Snowzilla."

After using up all the snow in the family's yard, they turned to neighbors' yards and carried buckets on sleds. They hand-packed the snowman like an ice-cream cone.

"It's solid ice," he said. "I put the arms in with my power drill."

It took a month to complete the project. It was too big to use buttons for its eyes, so Snowzilla gazes over the neighborhood from beer bottles.

Powers says the project took on a life of its own as it got bigger and bigger. Now Snowzilla is attracting plenty of sightseers.

"People stop by, and they're just flabbergasted," said neighbor Darrell Estes. "They walk up and knock on it to make sure it's real snow, not Styrofoam."

— Thanks to Out There reader Steve R.

— Click in the photo box above to see a picture of Snowzilla.

Let's Throw Another Kangaroo on the Barbie

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — Is the idea of tossing a kangaroo steak on the grill upsetting? How about a tender cut of australus?

A food magazine's hunt for a new name for kangaroo meat — aimed at putting a spring in the step of efforts to sell the product — has a winner, media reported Tuesday.

More than 2,700 people from 41 nations entered the Sydney-based Food Companion International magazine competition to rename meat derived from one of Australia's best-loved and most-recognizable animals.

Before settling on "australus," judges skipped over suggestions including "kangarly," "maroo," and "kangasaurus."

Millions of kangaroos are culled each year to prevent them from eating crops and to supply meat — but most of the kangaroo cuts go to pet food suppliers and only a small percentage is sold for human consumption.

Australia's kangaroo population fluctuates depending on weather conditions but is estimated at up to 50 million — more than double the country's human population.

Magazine editor Mel Nathan told The Sydney Morning Herald "australus" sounded dignified and predicted it could be a breakthrough for the kangaroo meat industry.

Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia executive officer John Kelly told the Sydney paper that although the company sponsored the competition, it had no serious intention of changing the meat's name.

My Coroner Is Up to Some Funny Business

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Looking for off-the-wall Christmas gift ideas? The Clark County coroner's office can help.

Tucked away in the office is a gift shop with items that walk a fine line between humor and morbidity. There's a coffee mug with the inscription "Playing for Keeps," a $10 fake jawbone that holds business cards and a T-shirt that reads "Coroner ... Cashed Out in Las Vegas."

"That's about as risque as we go," assistant coroner John Fudenberg told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "We certainly don't want to make a mockery of death."

Styled after a gift shop at the Los Angeles County coroner's office, the year-old Nevada store primarily benefits a coroner's youth program.

"The Jaw" cardholder has proven its best seller so far. The shop's "Coroner's Collection" also offers a faux Nevada license plate, patches, pens and other knickknacks.

"We're always looking for slogans or phrases that have a little bit of a dual meaning, because I think that is part of the hook," coroner Mark Murphy said.

Fudenberg says television shows such as "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" have increased demand in such items.

— Thanks to Out There reader Beth M.

All I Want for Christmas Is My Moosing Head Back

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — A missing moose's head has law enforcement officials baffled and a family begging the thieves to return their mounted trophy.

The head — complete with a 60-inch rack of antlers — was stolen from Nancy Wentz's garage last month in Elkhart, about 15 miles east of South Bend.

Since then, she's posted flyers in northern Indiana, hoping to get the moose home in time for the holidays.

"If I get that moose back, I'd be more than happy to give whoever" a reward, she said. "And I don't want to prosecute. I just want the moose back."

The moose head has been part of the Wentz family for 35 years. Wentz said she had hoped to ship the head to her son in Alaska.

Elkhart Detective Sgt. Brent Long said it likely took two people — and a truck — to pull off the theft, but so far authorities have no leads in the case.

Hey Buddy, Want to Be My New Best Friend?

DALLAS (AP) — A man who lost a winning lottery ticket and found it five days later got a $25,000 check from the Texas Lottery just in time for some last-minute Christmas shopping.

Mike Sargent, a 51-year-old AT&T facilities specialist from Alvarado, signed the paperwork and picked up the check Monday morning, one month after he turned it into a lottery claims center, Lottery spokesman Bobby Heith said.

"I'm grateful that I've got it," said Sargent, who got the check Monday. "We could really use it."

Sargent had spent days searching fields and ditches — even sifting through a trash bin — after he lost the ticket moments after buying it on Nov. 15. A water meter reader found it five days later and returned it in exchange for a $2,500 reward.

The lottery had to run forensic tests on the scratch-off ticket because Sargent's signature had been partially scratched off. The investigation was completed Friday, Heith said.

Compiled by's Andrew Hard.

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