HomeOutdoorsViralTwo Bucks Bash Each Other’s Antlers Off While Getting Tangled in Christmas Lights: VIDEO

Two Bucks Bash Each Other’s Antlers Off While Getting Tangled in Christmas Lights: VIDEO

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Giedrius Stakauskas / EyeEm via Getty Images)

As the year comes to an end, so does the annual rut for the deer of Colorado. Battles of strength between bucks are still ongoing, however, the males often receiving puncture wounds and broken antlers in the struggle. And as Coloradans across the state decorate their homes with twinkling Christmas lights, the hazards only grow.

On Friday (December 9), Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) received a strange but not abnormal call. Arriving at the scene, the officers found two young bucks in an impassioned sparring match in a local backyard. Both bucks had broken antlers and one had a string of Christmas lights tangled in its bony crown.

During a sparring match, it’s not uncommon for bucks’ antlers to become hopelessly tangled, preventing the deer from eating or drinking until they ultimately starve to death. The Christmas lights presented a greater risk of entanglement, as the free buck’s antlers almost became tangled in the length of wire.

Thankfully, the buck pulled away before he could become trapped with his opponent. As CPW explained in a subsequent tweet, the lights didn’t seem to be preventing the buck’s eating, breathing, or movement. This doesn’t mean, however, that outdoor holiday decorations don’t pose a major threat to wildlife.

Wildlife Experts Urge Others to Help Prevent Buck Antlers Becoming Tangled in Christmas Lights

When a buck’s antlers become tangled in Christmas lights, the stress and physical exhaustion caused by the escape efforts can lead to death, even if the decorations don’t affect their ability to eat and drink. As such, CPW urged the public to assess their yards for tangle hazards and remove them, if possible.

“Right now is a good opportunity to clean up your yard and to remove items a curious animal might stick its nose in or get wrapped up in,” said CPW Assistant Area Wildlife Manager Steve McClung. “We see animals get wrapped up in netting, landscaping materials, and holiday decorations all the time. It can impair their mobility, vision, and ability to eat and drink.”

If you do spot a buck with his antlers tangled, contact your local wildlife office immediately. “We need to know about these situations quickly,” McClung told Colorado Outdoors. “It’s best if we can get to these animals before they’ve undergone too much stress and have exhausted themselves. Darting them also creates stress and can lead to mortality if the animal has already been stressed too much.”

“If the animal is not tethered to what it is tangled in, it can also be difficult to chase them through a neighborhood and get into a position to dart them,” he continued. “Or sometimes they disappear and we never catch up to help them. The sooner we get information, the more likely we will be able to assist that animal.”