Barbwire Bucks

Earlier this spring I presented seminars at the Wisconsin Deer andTurkey Expo in Madison (www.deerinfo.com). It's a sport show and big buck-contest combined. Does it get any better than that? During breaks I perused the extensive display of whitetail bucks, most shot during the 2008 season. The monster bucks of Wisconsin caught my eye, but just as eye-catching were several of the bucks on display trimmed in barbwire like Christmas trees dressed in garland. The barbwire bucks reminded me of the first rack I ever saw adorned in wire. It was shown to me by fellow outdoor writer and outfitter Judd Cooney (www.juddcooney.com) more than two decades ago. In fact, the buck was Cooney's first ever. He stalked up on the buck, fighting with another, and didn't realize the duo was actually entangled in wire after fighting between a wire fence. After downing the bigger of the two, Cooney chopped off one side of the other buck's rack to release it. Today he has a great trophy that includes a heavy, palmated rack complete with the bonus of a permanently wired on four-point antler.
The wire scenario isn't uncommon as two testosterone-charged males begin fighting with a fence between them. I've even seen photos of bull elk entangled in fence and ripping down hundreds of yards of fence in their attempt to free themselves. It would be nearly impossible to estimate, but a safe estimate of more than a million miles of wire fence exists in America today. One author I researched estimated the existence of 600,000 miles of fence surrounding Western public lands alone. One of the most interesting photos I've come across regarding this topic is in the book "The Deer of North America" authored by deer expert Leonard Lee Rue III. It shows a skull reported to be from a Texas mule deer with "20 pounds of fence wire tangled around one antler." Pick up 20 pounds some day and then imagine it hanging from the left side of your head. Can you say "migraine headache?" Did the muley buck become entangled by rubbing his antlers on a cedar post? It's possible or maybe it became slightly entangled while browsing and in a panic-worsened the situation.
Sort of makes you wonder about how the antlers of this recently ballyhooed giant might have gotten balled up with barbwire. In my own antler collection I have the skull of a young whitetail buck with yards and yards of baling twine wrapped between the two antlers (Photo No. 1). What's peculiar is that the rack still sported shreds of velvet indicating the accident occurred in the summer when deer are the least likely to visit hay yards for a meal. What strange occurrence led to this buck weaving a rug between its antlers? Looking at the bucks in Wisconsin, I assume these were also accidental occurrences while bucks were rubbing their antlers on cedar posts. After getting wrapped up in a length of wire, the bucks were able to break free, but unluckily, ran into a hunter with a deadeye aim. If you have an interesting story or photo of a barbed wire buck, share it with us in the user photo section of this website.
Sometimes the results are simply tragic as were shown in this recent Outdoorlife.com photo gallery exclusive. When Terry and Sherry Bolding got close to these bucks, they realized that one of the bucks was dead which was making it more difficult for the other buck to free itself.Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding
Terry and Sherry Bolding

When buck meets barbwire, the results run from merely goofy to downright tragic.