The deer you see in this picture has its antlers locked with the decapitated deer head of its rival. How it happened and how the deer survived is an incredible story.
Outdoor Hub reported the bizarre deer head story, which began nearly three months ago in the snowy woods of south-central Kansas. In a clash for dominance, two bucks locked antlers. At some point, either during or after the conflict, the head-locked bucks were attacked by coyotes. The coyotes ripped apart the body of the losing buck, leaving only its head.
The winning buck escaped, but, like the plot of a fateful Greek tragedy, was forced to carry the head of his rival locked in his antlers. The buck would stare at the dead deer head for the next two months.
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A month later, after weeks of carrying his opponent’s head in his mantle, the buck was spotted by a man in the woods. Wildlife management instructor Luke Laha was scouting the land for coyote traps. In a brief moment, he saw the buck and puzzled over what exactly he was looking at.
“I saw it was a decently-sized buck with what I thought at the time was a smaller buck,” Laha told Outdoor Hub. “But then I saw that all that was left of the second one was the head, spine and rib cage.” The buck quickly disappeared.
For two months the unfortunate buck survived from coyote attacks and the fatigue of dragging around the deer head of his rival. But its fate was about to change.
During a coyote trapping trip with his students, Laha got a second glimpse of the buck. They quickly sprung into action and chased down the deer with their 4×4’s. Laha said the exhausted deer fell over nearly every twenty feet during the chase. They were able to pin him down to the ground and separate the deer head by hand. Here’s the video Laha’s student took shortly after that moment.
Laha and his students haven’t seen the deer since. Laha said he hopes it will recouperate enough to survive the winter. Either way, he and his team were glad they could give the buck a second chance at life and free it from its nightmarish deer head trap.