Entangled bucks sometimes die from starvation or predation
Separating two antler-locked bucks is no easy task, but one Kansas game warden got the job done with a single gunshot to the antlers.
According to The Kansas City Star, a bowhunter spotted the tangled deer in Jackson County and alerted the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT). Officers responded and located the locked bucks.
“At the time, the wardens didn’t know how long the bucks had been struggling to free themselves, but quickly observed that the deer had enough energy and wariness remaining to make approaching them difficult and potentially dangerous. However, the wardens were determined to do their best to save them from an excruciating death,” officials said in a Facebook post showcasing video of the locked bucks.
KDWPT Capt. Larry Hastings said, “It is not uncommon for bucks to get tangled up when they fight, but they usually free themselves.”
Of course, entangled bucks are sometimes unable to separate and end up dying from starvation or predation. The game wardens didn’t want that fate for the locked deer, so they devised a plan.
As the deer continued to struggle to break apart while moving across a pasture, creek, and woods, bodycam footage showed the game wardens following closely behind.
Finally, game warden Jeff Clouser crept up and tossed a blanket over the deer's heads, which subdued them long enough to provide an opportunity for the wardens to act.
“I think I got a good shot at the beam right now,” Clouser said in the video.
The game warden pulled out his handgun, aimed carefully, and fired a shot that broke the antlers apart and released the bucks to run off in opposite directions.
“We have had several of our game wardens shoot the antlers to break them apart when they can’t free themselves,” Hastings said.
Stephanie Mallory is a mom, a hunter and Realtree’s PR Coordinator. She’s here to deliver an insider’s look at the outdoor business and give her opinion on all things outdoors—whether you asked for it or not.