Tuesday, February 11, was anything but a typical day in the rabbit woods for Nova Scotia hunter Kevin O’Neil. The 58-year old lobster fisherman was walking to his truck with the half-dozen rabbits he had snared when a large owl swooped down, smashed into his face, and knocked him over.
“It was unbelievable how fast and how hard it hit me,” O’Neil told the Chronicle Herald newspaper. “I’m quite a big lad and it knocked me right on my ass."
O’Neil had seen an owl on his way into the woods, and thinks it was the same one that attacked him. “I stopped and looked up at it, and said, ‘You bugger, you’d better not have been eating my rabbits,’” he said in an interview with the Herald.
Apparently, the owl spoke human.
In truth, it’s likely that the owl was trying to steal the rabbits in O’Neil’s hands. With the harsh weather this winter, animals are even more apt to go to extremes to get food. It may have also been that O’Neil had come too close to the owl’s nest.
Whatever the case, O’Neill ended up with more than half a dozen punctures and scratches to his head and face. But he’s not letting a little owl attack deter him from heading afield. In fact, he was out snaring again later in the same week, while, admittedly, paying more attention to the sky.