A hunter in the US has died after being attacked by a deer he thought he had shot and killed, according to reports.

The man – named by US media as 66-year-old Thomas Alexander – is said to have shot a buck with a muzzleloader while hunting near Yellville, Arkansas.

After he went to check that the animal was dead, it got back up and delivered “several puncture wounds” to his body, a spokesman for the Arkansas game and fish commission told reporters.

“I’ve worked for the game and fish commission for 20 years, and it’s one of the stranger things that’s happened,” Keith Stephens, the agency’s chief of communications, told local TV station KY3.

“I don’t know how long he left it there, but he went up to check it to make sure it was dead – and evidently it wasn’t.

“It got back up, and he had several puncture wounds on his body.”

Mr Alexander was alert and talking when he was found by his nephew and managed to call his wife, according to CNN.

He reportedly died later at hospital and officials say it is unclear if the cause of death was the puncture wounds inflicted by the deer.

“It’s my understanding there’s not going to be an autopsy, so we may never know what actually happened,” Mr Stephens told KY3.

A tribute posted online said Mr Alexander was a “kind and sweet man” and a “wonderful father and grandfather”.

A similar incident happened in Ashley County, Arkansas about four years ago when a buck’s antlers struck someone but that person survived, officials said.

The Arkansas game and fish commission advises hunters to make sure a downed deer has not moved for about 30 minutes before approaching it.

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