Fighting White-tailed Bucks and Fences

A white-tailed deer hung in a fence

I am continually amazed at the number of ways in which white-tailed deer meet their demise. Although deer commonly die by getting one or both of their hind legs hung in a fence, and less often by getting impaled on iron fences while attempting to jump them, it appears that bucks can also become “captured” when their antlers get hung up in net-wire fences. Over the years though, I have heard of bucks getting their antlers hung in fences while fighting. Is this the case here? 

A rancher once told me that he watched two large whitetail bucks battling each other through a game fence (opposite sides) and then the next day he found one of the bucks dead on his ranch, presumably from injuries sustained during that fight. Was the fence to blame in that case? Not likely, especially considering that whitetail bucks will sometimes fight to the death. Although most battles do not result in death, some do. Some fights even involve both bucks dying, either directly from locked antlers or indirectly through injuries sustained during the battle. Nature is survival of the fittest, but as hunters and deer managers we hate to see bucks killing themselves.  

These photos of what appears to be a 3 1/2 year old buck hung in a fence come to us today from the Four A Ranch in Coryell County, Texas. Was this buck battling another buck across the fence or within the same ranch? It is hard to say from looking at the photos, but both scenarios end with a dead buck.

A white-tailed deer hung in a fenceA white-tailed deer hung in a fenceA white-tailed deer hung in a fence

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