WATCH: Deer breaks into Dayton business

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A buck smashed through the front window of Texas Beef & Cattle in the Wright Dunbar business district in Dayton.

At first, it looked like a typical smash-and-grab.

The front window of the closed Texas Beef & Cattle Co. in the Wright Dunbar business district was shattered, and a couple of people who noticed the damage thought it was a break-in or possibly vandalism and called the owner James Nuñez.

Nuñez was surprised. His store on West Third Street never had any problems with crime during its five years of operation, except for one time when someone took some unfinished brisket.

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James Nuñez, owner of Texas Beef & Cattle, inside his store in the Wright Dunbar business district. The business is in the process of moving to a building on Stanley Avenue. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

James Nuñez, owner of Texas Beef & Cattle, inside his store in the Wright Dunbar business district. The business is in the process of moving to a building on Stanley Avenue. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
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James Nuñez, owner of Texas Beef & Cattle, inside his store in the Wright Dunbar business district. The business is in the process of moving to a building on Stanley Avenue. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

But when Nuñez arrived at the store and looked around, he didn’t see anything missing.

There was a small trail of blood and some damage inside, but the intruder evidently didn’t make off with any obvious valuables.

Then Nuñez checked the video footage from his surveillance cameras. What he saw was very unexpected.

The video showed that at about 7:47 a.m. Nov. 17 a buck jumped through the front window of the property.

The deer apparently ran across the street, shortly before some vehicles sped past, and crashed through the glass storefront.

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A buck smashed through the storefront window of Texas Beef & Cattle on West Third Street in the Wright Dunbar business district. CONTRIBUTED

A buck smashed through the storefront window of Texas Beef & Cattle on West Third Street in the Wright Dunbar business district. CONTRIBUTED
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A buck smashed through the storefront window of Texas Beef & Cattle on West Third Street in the Wright Dunbar business district. CONTRIBUTED

Once inside, the deer trotted around, presumably looking for a way out.

It climbed over a counter and some chairs, and explored the kitchen and hallway leading to the restrooms.

The buck was inside for more than 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Ultimately, he exited via the same window he entered.

“I think he was trying to get out,” Nuñez said. “I think he was like, ‘Where am I?’”

Nuñez said it is rutting season — mating season — and the buck may have been on the prowl for a partner.

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A buck inside Texas Beef & Cattle on West Third Street in the Wright Dunbar business district. CONTRIBUTED

A buck inside Texas Beef & Cattle on West Third Street in the Wright Dunbar business district. CONTRIBUTED
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A buck inside Texas Beef & Cattle on West Third Street in the Wright Dunbar business district. CONTRIBUTED

Coincidentally, Nuñez had just returned to Dayton from an out-of-state hunting trip.

He returned with the carcasses of a deer and a couple of wild hogs.

He said this buck was a trophy worthy of being mounted if killed in a hunt. Texas Beef & Cattle used to have deer mounts on the wall, but those have been boxed up.

Texas Beef & Cattle Co., which opened in July 2016, closed its doors in June.

The business still does some catering and is in the process of moving.

Texas Beef & Cattle Co. will reopen as a restaurant on the 1300 block of Stanley Avenue in the future, Nuñez said.

“We are expecting to open again at some point for sure,” he said. “We hope to continue our catering until we decide the concept for the restaurant.”

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