This buck seems to have forgotten he shed already.
There is no doubt about it. Whitetail bucks love to pick fights with one another. That is their instinct, to battle their rivals during the peak of the rut. Sometimes they will also battle for dominance. It helps them to push any competition out of the area. The sound of antlers clashing is enough to get any hunter's heart racing a little faster with excitement.
Many bucks continue to clash antlers and spar into the late winter months until those antlers are finally shed. However, just because their antlers may be gone, that does not mean the buck's competitive drive has ended.
For further evidence of that fact, just watch this video from Red Arrow on YouTube. This buck seems to have forgotten his antlers have already dropped when he picks a fight with a rival.
We have seen plenty of videos of buck fights in the past here at Wide Open Spaces, however this one was a new one on us. It seems that buck truly did forget that he had already shed his antlers. It's obvious he realized his mistake the second the top of his head butted the other buck's. We could not help but laugh, and we can feel that buck's embarrassment from here. You can almost hear his thoughts: "I hope no does were watching that!"
The process of bucks shedding their antlers has always been a fascinating one. It makes us wonder how much bucks are aware of their antlers. If you have ever seen footage of them losing one, they often seem to be thrown off balance when they lose one until the other one falls. The pedicles of this buck are still red, so it does not appear he has been without them for long.
We are also curious when this footage was shot. The video's description does not state. It seems logical it probably happened sometime in late December or early January. Because some bucks will continue sparring long after the rut is over. That is also about the time that some of the first bucks will start dropping bone. Whatever the case may be, this was an amazing and rare sight to capture on video.