A person in Rice County, Kansas, found two whitetail bucks dead about a week ago, with their antlers locked together.  This was the result of the two bucks fighting and sparring, as is common this time of year.  They were never able to break free from each others’ antlers, thus resulting in their demise.

Photo Credit: Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

The most wonderful time of the year is almost upon midwest hunters, as the whitetail rut is beginning.  As a result, bucks will become much more active and aggressive as they peruse for hot does to chase.  Additionally, they will be much more prone to use aggression to protect their territory, and to fight off any other bucks trying to encroach on the bucks’ does.

What happened here, strongly appears to have been a territorial dispute between two mature bucks.  Whether they “met their match,” or both just had very bad luck, is up for interpretation, however.  Most hunters probably have at least read about these kinds of situations, where people find two bucks (dead or alive) with their antlers locked together.  Additionally, it is probably fair to say that most would also agree that this is definitely a slow and agonizing way to die.  But it’s just nature taking its course.

Reported in the Kansas City Star, a game warden with the Kansas Wildlife, Parks & tourism noted that “nature can throw some curveballs sometimes.”  Is this a “curveball” though? It seems there is an assumption that the most natural way for a buck to die is by predators.  But that overlooks the especially aggressive behavior they take on this time of year.  They do not fight “for the fun of it.”  This applies to other ungulates as well; they certainly will fight to the death when it comes to it.

Have you seen anything like this?

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