This Whitetail Buck Got Trapped in an Elementary School Classroom

by Jon D. B.
(Photo by Linda Davidson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

This wily, one-antlered buck tried his best to enroll in a Tennessee elementary school, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Westside Elementary school students would’ve been in for the shock of the schoolyear had they shown to class early Tuesday. An otherwise-normal morning somehow created the circumstances for this lopsided buck to power his way into a Springfield classroom.

According to The Tennessean, the white-tailed deer managed to squeeze his way through an emergency door. It’s unclear if this is what cost him an antler. If it did, the buck came out worse than the school, as the emergency door is fine.

From there, the deer stood alone in the classroom in the wee hours of the morning. That is, until school staff came in to find the buck amongst overturned tables and chairs.

Thankfully, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency Officer Kaleb Stratton was able to respond. Stratton would show right before 7 AM to “guide the deer out of the building,” Tennessean reports. And outside of those topsy-turvy chairs and tables, no damage or injuries were reported.

Officer Stratton says “it was fortunate they were able to find the deer before more staff or students arrived.”

Why? As Outsiders know, we’re currently in the throes of deer rut: mating season.

“Bucks can be really crazy around this time of of year,” Stratton details. “They’re not trying to be mean. They’re just wild animals.”

Buck-Wild: Rut Leads Deer into the Most Unlikely Places

Crazy is an apt way to put it. During rut, bucks go into sexual overdrive. Their end game is to mate with as many females as they wish. Whitetail bucks will bed with a doe and stick around for a few days, but a rut season typically sees 10 to 20 mates for a healthy male. The older, more dominant the buck, the more does they’ll chase, land, and copulate with.

As you can imagine, this leads to one hormonal deer – both bucks and does. Rut season sees all kinds of odd behavior from both sexes. Deer flying through home windows, attacking pedestrians, and yes – even entering elementary schools – is but a taste. Bucks, in particular, will be overly aggressive with one another as they compete for mates, mating rights, and territory.

While it’s amusing to see this buck in such a classic children’s setting, we’re beyond fortunate that no students were present. Bucks can be extremely dangerous with their sharp antlers any time of year – but specifically during rut.

As for this Springfield buck himself, he escaped the ordeal with only a small scrape on his back. As for that missing antler, Officer Stratton says there’s no evidence of it in or out of Westside Elementary.