A 62-year-old man died while taking part in a hunt in the Paris area after being charged by a deer that fatally gored him with its antlers.
The incident occurred around 10am (0900 GMT) in the Compiegne forest, about 85 kilometres (53 miles) northeast of Paris.
The man was acting as a beater, who normally help corner the animal in a certain area, when he was struck.
He “was charged and pierced by a deer which stabbed him with his antlers,” a police spokesman said. The hunter, who was not carrying a rifle, died of internal bleeding before emergency services could arrive. Police said this type of death was “uncommon”.
Guy Harlé, the president of the local hunters federation said: “Normally the animal would flee, but this time he decided to charge. It came after him.
“The antlers of the stag are like many knives piercing you, there is nothing you can do. This tragic accident reminds us that we do not play with a wild animal. There is an inherent risk with hunting,” said Harlé.
The victim was named as Regis Levasseur. He was due to get married in the coming months.
“For him, hunting was more than a hobby, it was his life,” said Harlé.