“Chalk this up to something you don’t see every day!” says Saskatchewan Association of Conservation Officers of their raucous buck rescue.
As the officers state, “It is rare enough to see two locked deer, let alone different species!”
Indeed, this incredible encounter resulted in a once-in-a-lifetime rescue. In places like this footage’s Watrous, several species of deer overlap and share habitat. And as the rut rages on for cervids in many parts of the world, bucks of all species are in mating overdrive. Which is exactly how two rutting bucks of different makes wound up locked together.
“The rut is on strong in the Watrous area and this mule deer and whitetail decided to tango, resulting in their antlers getting locked,” Saskatchewan Association of Conservation Officers begins in their Facebook post.
As for how it all began, “A hunter stumbled across these two and called the local conservation officer who responded to assist,” the officers continue. “Once it was safe, the officer was able to approach and saw off a portion of antler, freeing the two deer.”
The resulting footage is nothing short of spectacular. The rescuing officer could’ve easily been impaled by the dominant mule buck’s raucous attempt to free himself. His opponent appears to be dead, but is in fact completely worn out from their struggle as the larger buck drags him around; their antlers locked.
Stepping in, the officer finally gets ahold of their antlers and begins filing them apart. The mule buck is clearly worn out, too, and allows the officer to hold down his antlers while he works. An exemplary rescue, to be sure.
Dominant Mule Buck Survives, but White-Tailed Buck Isn’t So Lucky
“Great work by our officer! It goes without saying that you should not attempt this yourself, and to call your local conservation officer or the Turn in Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) line to report distressed wildlife. Officers possess training and a greater understanding of wildlife than most to help wildlife in these situations,” the precinct continues.
If you’re a local Outsider, “The TIPP line can be reached toll-free at 1-800-667-7561 or #5555 from a SaskTel cell phone. Calls are taken 24 hour a day, 7 days a week.”
Tragically, however, further insight from the officers reveals that “While the mule deer was able to bound away… Unfortunately, the whitetail succumbed to the effects of the battle after being given time and space to recover.”
The rut is a dangerous business, after all. Bucks of all cervid species will fight to the death over mates. Typically an aggressive sparring match is all a lesser buck needs in order to back off. But enormous, spear-like antlers make for deadly weapons, and losing bucks will often perish as a result of rut skirmishes.