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Hunter Attack in Tree Stand Leads to Torn Retina and Possible Eye Transplant -- but It Wasn't by Another Human


"...it was like I was sucker punched by somebody."

The talon marks on his face (Source: KWTV screen shot)

Hunters might consider their tree stand as advantageous for not only spotting animals but also as a form of safety, keeping them off the ground. But an Oklahoma hunter might beg to differ on the latter point.

barn owl The hunter said a barn owl swooped at him a couple times and attacked his face, nearly knocking him out of his tree stand. (Image source: Shutterstock)

Without seeing it coming, Mike Adney of Tulsa was attacked and nearly knocked out of his stand by an owl with its talons out.

"He hit me full bore, about knocked me out of my stand, caught me off guard, big time," Adney told KWTV-TV.

"He hit me hard, it was like I was sucker punched by somebody," he said of the owl that left eight talon marks on his face.

The talon marks on his face (Source: KWTV screen shot)

The incident occurred on Adney's most recent trip during the thick of archery deer hunting season in the state. He said he was in full camouflage, except for his face. It was just as the sun was rising.

Adney told KWTV leaving only a small amount of himself uncamouflaged might have made the owl think he was a small animal.

Watch Adney talk with KWTV about the incident:

News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Adney expects to see a surgeon to repair a torn retina in his eye and to treat low pressure. It is unclear if he'll need a transplant.

"I mean, I can see and I can make out colors and all that, but it's all a big blur," Adney told KWTV.

In 2011, a Michigan hunter was attacked by an owl in a similar incident.



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