Every deer hunter has heard stories of white-tailed bucks locking antlers while fighting during the rut, but few have actually seen locked-up bucks. Fewer hunters have the photos to prove it — not that we would question the authenticity of some of the seemingly outlandish deer hunting stories heard around a campfire. But for landowners and hunters engaged in deer management practices it’s always difficult to see deer die of natural causes, especially quality bucks. We understand that most natural deaths in deer, including fighting to the death, is a grueling, drawn out process. But it happens before, during, after the rut, and throughout the year.
All of the deer population and habitat management in the world will not stop two bucks from trying to kill each other for breeding rights to a receptive doe. After all, bucks fight for the right to pass on their genes to the next generation of deer, and hopefully the buck with the best genes wins. And they typically do, because that’s the way nature works. But sometimes neither buck walks away. Were they each undeserving?
“These two trophy bucks were found locked up during the 2009 deer season in northern Calhoun County, Texas. Two hunters were attempted to save one of the white-tailed deer, both of which were nice trophy deer. They shot one with an arrow and then they tried to separate them and release the other one. In the process, one of the men got injured when the live deer was bucking around. The hunter ended up with bone chips in his wrist and elbow, and got gored twice.
They then had no choice but to shoot the second buck. They tried to separate the horns but couldn’t. They then skinned out the deer and took the heads to a local taxidermist and they still could not get the antlers apart. Amazing that they could become that entwined. They are having the heads mounted, and that should make a very interesting mount.”