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Sad once in a lifetime experience
Super cold Jan. Sunday after a 2 day blizzard nothing going on, So cold the January Izaak Walton meat shoot canceled. Bored so head down to my deer farm to go for a walk and pull some camera cards. Took the plow truck because didn’t know if I could even get closer than a half mile from the farm. Drove right in and standing right there is a very nice buck....not quite proper so watched for a minute and it is locked up with another buck!!! WTF this only happens to other people!! Walked up and took some pics with my crappy flip phone. At this point I am freaked out don’t know what to do both deer are extremely lively and freaked out worse than me. I decide to walk away and hope they find a way to separate themselves. So I go for a mile walk in the fresh snow and 2 below temp with a 15 mph wind and decide it is colder than hell and then head back toward the locked up deer. Picked up their tracks about about a half mile out and followed them back to the scene. Tracks were indescribable unless you knew two deer were locked together. When I find the deer after about 45 minutes one is already dead. This is my land so this is not going well, was hoping they would tire and I could blast their antlers off with my shotgun and free them. Was worried that the blast would kill one but since one was dead I was going to walk up close and blast his antler off and free the live one. Got up within a few feet of them but the live one would not hold still and was totally freaking out and before I could get a good clean shot on the other antler it broke the G 4 off the dead deer and ran off.
At this point I’m like wow holy effing chit WOW!!!! Not only have I never seen the likes of this except on the internet but one of my best up and comer bucks is laying dead at my feet. After passing these deer during season and they ran the gauntlet of the neighbors they try to kill each other in mid January and do a pretty good job of it. WoW.
How many of you have ever walked up to locked bucks. I am 56 and this is a sad first. Hope these phone pics turn ok on here. ,
Wow, pretty sad!! I am surprised that late in the year the antlers were holding on so we'll. Shawn
Incredible pics. I guess if that was gonna happen either way…..pretty cool you got to see it.
That's nature, thanks for sharing the pics...incredible!
No way to salvage the meat?
I was thinking the same thing, RT.
I didn't see it first hand while it was happening, but I saw the results of 2 bull elk who decided to spar on opposite sides of a barbed wire fence. They tore up over 100 yards of the fence before they both expired. The barbed wire that entwined their antlers together was as taut as piano strings.
Part of nature. Not sad. How may tens of thousands of deer get hit by cars every year....
Corn bore, agree that's a shame. Sucks for a good one to survive in good health, all the way through multiple hunting seasons, the main rut, half the winter, and then die in a freakish way like that. At least you got to witness it and know what happened instead of having him just mysteriously disappear.
Wow... what an experience, something most hunters will never see.
They are tough animals. I shot this buck this year and he was pretty torn up from fighting, but healing up and doing fine.
I'm actually more surprised by the fact that someone is still using a flip-phone. ;-)
That would be interesting to see. I have a buddy that backs onto a nature preserve here and he finds dead bucks locked together every 3 or 4 years . He doesn't hunt so he just leaves them where he finds them as part of natures ways I guess .
Sad that it came to an end like that, not for the animals but for the OP. He let these guys walk and now will not get a chance at that buck ever. Shawn
good footage and story - thanks for sharing and I am 55 and have yet to witness this.
Dang....always hate to see that.
Doug, Assuming that this happened in S.D., are you required to tag the deer, even if it wasn't killed with a weapon (before you can take it home)?
How do you think the deer died? Broken neck?
From the blood coming out the mouth and that neck wound, I would say an antler punctured or tore the carotid artery.
I can sympathize with your feelings, core bore. It’s a bit of a bummer when a deer you let walk, hoping he makes through the winter, ends up dead somehow. Also a bummer that the bucks suffered the way they did as well. Hopefully the survivor makes it through the winter. Very cool that, at least you got to witness something firsthand, that not too many guys get to see.
You asked if anyone else has witnessed something similar. I’ve not ever personally seen it, but quite a few years ago, my cousin was shotgun hunting with my Dad, uncle and a couple of other guys. This was his first ever time deer hunting. He was walking across a timbered flat and spotted a buck a little ways off. He shot it, dropping it instantly. He started running over to where it had fallen. When he got a little closer, he saw the buck had stood back up, so he shot again, dropping A deer again. When he got over to the spot, he discovered that it was 2 different bucks that were locked up. Talk about beginner’s luck! Also had good friend who found a locked set that the coyotes, etc had picked the carcasses clean. Obviously, he didn’t see the duel, but a rare find nonetheless.
Real nature at work there. Nature is tough love, and it is always awesome to see, positive or negative.
January 19, perfect example they'll lower their heads and fight anytime they are in hard horn, it doesn't have to be during peak rut...
"What's a "deer farm"?"
I bet it is a farm on which he hunts deer.
Kind of like a bathroom, in which you take a bath.
A couple of years ago my dad had seen several coyotes hanging around in his yard coming and going from a group of trees that's about 100yds from the house. So he walked down there to see what they were eating on. Found one buck standing up with another buck locked up with it. But the other was dead and picked clean. He called the local game warden who brought down a reciprocating saw and was able to saw them apart. He was weak but ran off.
Call me a pessimist but I find it sad, I have my reasons. On the bright side one survived and he is actually probably pretty happy with himself, killing off the competition like that.
Matt hit the deer farm on the head and I suppose I could really get you guys fired up if I said it’s a place were MY deer live. It’s about 140 acres of wildlife habitat along The Sioux River that I purchased in 2005. Most of it is in a wetland easement. Basically for a hunter and wildlife lover like me it’s a dream come true. I also refer to it as good quality swampland. Where these pictures were taken was under water for about 5 months this year. It is exactly what Pat is presently looking to buy except it is to far west.
I am not sure how he died there wasn’t enough blood on the snow for him to have bled to death. Thinking broken neck or choked. I was very surprised to find one dead when I returned from my 40 min walk. They were both extremely lively when I left. The whole situation went very rapidly for me kinda like when a big buck walks under your stand. When you reflect on it you think things you could have done. I just wonder if inserting myself into their situation made it worse.
I did call the warden but no answer. Probably watching the Chiefs like rest of the world. No transporting deer in SD without a tag so I left him to nature as if I hadn’t been there.
I would have waded in there and tried to separate them. Wardens have done that here in Ks and used their Glock service pistols to shoot an antler off so they'd disengage
That is a shame for the dead deer. I am lucky that I have to local wardens' phone numbers and they would have let me take the deer. I have been deer hunting for over 65 years and have see some humdinger deer fights but never saw them get locked up. And to Grey Ghost, I use a flip phone and like it. I don't need a smart phone since I am retired and a dumb phone is fine for me......It makes phone calls and Texts.
Interesting thread. Not just the locked up deer. Actually, what I find most interesting are the "what's the sad part" comments. My initial reaction was, yea that's a sad story. Not just because ole Corn Bore won't have that buck to target next year, but because the two deer got locked up and struggled and one suffered and died. I mean yea, I like to deer hunt but I get no joy out of seeing one die, much less suffer, so along those lines, I guess it is sad to see this. But then I thought about it a bit. It is nature, like a few have mentioned, so it's natural, but does that mean it's not sad? That buck's mommy and daddy and babies and buddies aren't going to be sad and miss him, that's for sure. And in the end, looks like he died pretty quickly. So, no, maybe it's not really sad at all. It is thought provoking though.
What state and what county,,,, we are still hunting deer here in southern Wis, lots of bucks with horns,,,, most do not drop till next month or later,,,, good feed in the area
Always sad when something dies after a struggle for life, natural or not. Just part of being a core human being. Thanks for the story and pics. Glad one of them got to walk away.
Our bowseason doesn't end until Super Bowl Sunday...
Wow that's a shame. Some luck happening in January.