A Maryland teen thought he might have to confront a burglar when he heard a loud banging on his front door earlier this month, only to end up bagging his first buck from the relative comfort of his living room.
Ryan Manchester was eating cereal at his home in Frederick on Dec. 5 when he heard what sounded like someone trying to break open his family's front home with a sledgehammer, The Washington Post reported. When he went to investigate he was stunned to find an eight-point buck trashing his family's Christmas tree.
He posted video of his discovery on Twitter.
The deer had slammed into the front door of Manchester's house, putting a pair of holes in it and knocking it out of its frame, the 17-year-old told The Frederick News-Post.
Fearing the deer might injure his dog, Manchester locked her in a bathroom and called 911.
"I told them what was happening and they didn't really seem to have any urgency," Manchester told The Frederick News-Post. "I don't think they knew how much damage it was doing. So I asked them if I should shoot it. They didn't tell me to shoot it. But they didn't tell me not to shoot it. So I was like, 'I'm probably going to shoot it.'"
Animal control officers headed to his home and he called his father, John, at work to ask where the elder Manchester kept the keys to the family gun safe, according to The Washington Post. After some back and forth, John Manchester told his son where to find the keys.
"Absolutely, had I been there I would have done it myself," he told The Washington Post. "Though Ryan might be a better shot than me."
Ryan Manchester grabbed a 9 mm Smith & Wesson and checked in with animal control. He learned they were still 15 minutes away. Meanwhile, the deer continued to ransack the house. In the time it took Ryan Manchester to call officials and his father, the deer had cut itself and smeared blood on every window in the home, the News-Post reported.
After following the deer around the house, Ryan Manchester, who is not a hunter, felled the buck with a pair of shots.
"I'm glad I shot it," Ryan Manchester told the News-Post. "It caused a lot of damage. I know people will judge me for it, but I don't care. If it happens to them, they don't have to shoot it. But after it did all that, it wasn't leaving alive."
It was not immediately clear what caused the buck to break into the Manchesters' home, although the family speculated that a doe might have marked their Christmas tree before they dragged it through the same front door that the buck later destroyed.
The buck ended up providing the Manchester family with 40 pounds of venison, according to WJZ.