PHOTOS: Missouri Bowhunter Downs Buck With Antlers Locked With Antlers, Skull of Another Deer

by Shelby Scott
Photo by J. Irwin/Classicstock/Getty Images

Hunters across the United States are enjoying deer season, with some of them taking home impressive trophies. However, one Missouri hunter bagged a unique buck when he found the big game he took down had its antler locked with the antlers of another deer, which were still attached to the deceased animal’s skull.

“The first time I really got to sit in the tree stand was this weekend,” said Missouri hunter Mike Lewis in recalling his strange encounter with the buck. “[It] looked like he had a piece of black fabric or plastic stuck in his rack.”

However, as he recounts, that was far from the case. Lewis originally headed out hunting on his 170-acre property in northwestern Missouri on Saturday morning, where Field & Stream reports he saw “decent deer movement.” However, the remainder of the day and early Sunday morning proved pretty fruitless. Switching stands with his son Sunday, however, he saw some major success.

Lewis initially saw his deer following a doe “about 70 yards away.”

“When I saw him,” he shared, “I thought he was just a non-typical buck with a lot of points on his head, and obviously, I decided to shoot him [when] he got into range. But I didn’t know what it really was.”

A Hunting Tale for the Ages

While it’s one thing to score a non-typical deer, Mike Lewis certainly has a unique story to tell. After tagging the kill and contacting the Missouri Department of Conservation, the hunter was allowed to keep both his initial kill and the skull and antlers attached to it.

Though the deer were initially two separate entities, Lewis said the locked pair of antlers will not come apart. If you pick up the skull of the deer that his buck presumably tore off another deer, he says the intact head rises with it. He’s further able to rattle the pair of antlers together but cannot separate them.

“I would say this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” the Missouri hunter said reverently. “You can almost equate it to a 250-inch deer because you just don’t see those kinds of things. It’s pretty unique.”

He further emphasized, “It’s an indescribable feeling shooting a deer like this.”

Black-Tailed Deer Lock in Intense Battle at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge

If you’re wondering how the deer whose skull was entangled in Lewis’s buck’s died in the first place, the manner of death probably looked something like this.

The video above shows two black-tailed deer in San Luis National Wildlife Refuge in California violently sparring with their antlers. The bucks keep their heads low and their shoulders hunched forward in an attempt to assert dominance mid-rut season. Hopefully, this time, however, both deer walked away with their skulls still attached.