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8-Pointer or 16-Pointer? Hunter Harvests Buck Carrying Spare Head Around

This buck won the battle, but couldn't shake his opponent.

Nature can be brutal. It's not uncommon for rutted-up bucks to duel to the death. Usually, that is the end of the story. Not in the case of Missouri bowhunter Mike Lewis, who harvested a buck that had defeated his rival but then couldn't disentangle from the dead foe. So instead, the buck was forced to carry the weight of an extra set of antlers, and probably the head before it decayed and fell away.

Lewis shot the surviving buck, a nice 8-pointer, during last year's archery season. The Missouri Department of Conservation posted the photos of Lewis' buck to their Facebook page with his rack hopelessly entangled with another 8-point of comparable size.

The antlers are clean of velvet, and it appears the skull is also almost completely clean of all hide and flesh material, which means the buck has probably been carrying this head around for quite some time. From time to time new photos will make the rounds on social media of a buck harvested with a deadhead attached, but it's usually not so clean. This one is unique in that aspect.

There weren't a lot of details about the hunt provided, but the MDC noted that Lewis contacted them and was given a tag to legally possess the antlers by Nodaway County Agent Kris Smith. The MDC posted several different angles of the strange harvest showing just how tightly these bucks were stuck together. It makes the imagination run wild as you imagine what must have been going through the surviving buck's mind.

We are left wondering how the buck eventually got free. Did he drag his dead rival around for days? Did coyotes eat the body of the other buck allowing this one to get free? Unless someone has trail cameras or video showing the deer prior to harvest, it's likely we'll never know what really happened here. It's not too much of a stretch to imagine this buck would have carried his rival until late winter when he shed his antlers had Lewis not shot him.

READ MORE: Hunters Must Work Fast to Saw Two Hopelessly Locked Bucks Apart