Fight to the Death

Three buck disaster
By: Travis Faulkner
As a passionate deer hunter, just hearing about the senseless death of a top-heavy buck makes me feel sick to my stomach. In fact, throughout my writing career, I've personally covered several stories about record book bucks that have taken permanent dirt naps from vehicle collisions and other types of accidents. All of these tragic occurrences have left me feeling gut punched and depressed.
I guess we have to accept the reality that bad things just sometimes happen to big bucks. For example, I just received a report about three remarkable bucks that were found locked-up in an entangled mess at the bottom of a creek in southern Ohio.
A few days ago, a wildlife officer named Josh Shields received a very interesting call while on duty. On a private tract of land inside of Meigs County, a forester had made a startling discovery at the bottom of a creek. The forester was working on a routine timber management plan when he noticed a major disturbance had occurred along the water's edge. The creek bank almost looked like a runaway bulldozer had a head-on collision with a Mack truck.
However, all of the damage had actually been caused by an intense fight that involved three testosterone driven whitetail bucks. These rut-crazed bruisers became locked together in a death match that ultimately ended in a tragic group drowning.
The forester informed the land owner who immediately contacted the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. By state law, a person must contact a wildlife officer before being able to legally claim any deer. The officer must then make an onsite visit to investigate the initial causes of the death.
As you can imagine, wildlife officer Josh Shields was blown away by the gruesome scene at the bottom of the creek. Basically, there was well over 400 inches of intertwined bone submerged just under the water's surface.
The largest of the three bucks was sporting a massive 11-point rack that would probably score around 165. A giant 10-pointer with a bulky body was also locked into the antlered heap with another 7-point brawler.
It's sad to think that these three bad boys won't be making a lucky hunter's heart skip a beat this season.
Mercy Shot
By J.R. Absher The first thing Hixton, Wis. bowhunter Rodney Hurst did when he spotted the 10-point buck dragging what appeared to be an expired 12-pointer was to use his cell phone to call the state Department of Natural Resources in order to clarify the hunting regulations regarding the unique situation. "A buddy of mine was combining corn and so I decided just to stand along side of his corn field and then all of a sudden here they came," Hurst told WEAU-TV. When he reached a person of authority at the DNR office, the lifelong hunter was told not only was it legal to kill the surviving buck using his archery permit, but for an extra $42.20, he could tag the second buck as well.
From that point, Hurst didn't hesitate; though he admitted the shot was not the most difficult he'd ever taken with a bow. It was no telling how long the two had been hopelessly locked together by the antlers–and the surviving buck could barely stand, depleted by exhaustion. "I kind of thought it was a mercy shot…a pretty easy shot," he admitted later. With the combined weight of the two entangled bucks exceeding 400 pounds, Hurst called a friend with a tow truck to hoist the adjoined animals into his pickup. The hard-core Wisconsin outdoorsman said he couldn't wait to show his double deer to his two young sons, appropriately named (really!) Gunner and Hunter. And yes, he plans to have the deer heads mounted for posterity, just as he found them on that November 2 afternoon.
Friday morning there were two large 10-point bucks that had their antlers locked between bldgs 8 & 11 at the Johnson Space Center. Both were really tired and one was on its death bed.
Security contacted the grounds crew and asked for them to bring a hack saw.
Shortly after grounds arrived two guys jumped on the bodies of the bucks and SWAT grabbed the locked antlers.
The grounds guy moved in with the hacksaw and cut off the left antler of one of them. Everyone backed off. The aggressive buck took off no worse for the wear.
The other buck was lying around for a good 4 hours. It had puncture wounds to its neck and some paralysis.
SWAT came back and took the animal away and euthanized it. It was truly a once in a lifetime event.

When testosterone-filled bucks square off the results can be ugly. Check out these to-the-death brawls caught on film.