HomeOutdoorsViralWATCH: Two Massive Mule Deer Bucks Square Off, One Gets Totally Dominated

WATCH: Two Massive Mule Deer Bucks Square Off, One Gets Totally Dominated

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo credit: mikvivi via Getty Images)

When rut season strikes, male deer become single-minded and aggressive. The only thing they care about is mating and passing on their genetics. That means every other buck in the area is a threat. Bucks lock antlers in what can be long drawn-out battles of strength and will. Sometimes, though, those battles are quick and decisive. In the video below, a pair of mule deer lock up but it doesn’t take long for one to know he has no chance of defeating his larger foe.

The official Instagram for Outdoor Life posted the video yesterday. “Domination. The bigger buck doesn’t always win in the wild. It comes down to determination, grit, and the will to procreate,” the caption read. However, in this video, the bigger mule deer does win. It took less than ten seconds for the absolute unit of a buck to send his smaller competitor packing.

Mule Deer Rut Behavior

Mule Deer enter the rut around the same time as whitetail deer. It can begin between early November and late December and stretch into January. All told, the rut lasts about four weeks. Like other deer, muley bucks become solely focused on mating. On one hand, that means that bucks become more aggressive and fight for breeding rights. On the other hand, the bucks become careless. As a result, bucks that clung to dense timber and high brush will take to walking in open meadows or atop barren hillsides. Their lack of focus makes during this time is why hunting the rut is one of the best ways to bag a muley.

What Sets Them Apart

According to LetsGoHunting.Org, mule deer have rut behaviors that set them apart from their whitetail cousins.  For instance, biologist and author Dr. Valerius Geist notes that muleys are the only ungulates that have two methods for getting urine samples from does. Like other deer, they do the “low-stretch” method in which the buck approaches the doe almost demurely and waits for her to urinate. If that doesn’t work, the buck will become aggressive and chase the doe. At the end of the chase, the buck will usually resume the low-stretch method.

During the rut, mule deer act much like elk. Does will stay close to the dominant buck of the herd and he protects them from the juvenile bucks. At the same time, smaller bucks circle the herd much like satellite bull elk who are waiting for a chance to breed. However, unlike an elk herd, the dominant buck does not control the does of the herd like a bull does his harem. Instead, muley bucks focus on one doe at a time. Usually, he’ll focus on the doe who is in estrus or is closest to it.