Instead of taking home two trophies, a Wisconsin bowhunter freed two bucks locked together by their antlers last month.
An alert 90-year-old man told Troy Rebarchek and his wife that he saw the whitetails stuck together on Dec. 20. Rebarchek, a bowhunter, went to investigate with his buck tags. The man even aimed at the deer before deciding to help them out.
Field and Stream magazine reported on the event.
Man’s Quick Eye Leads To Awesome Video
Everett Sluga went for a drive in Wisconsin’s Trempealeau County and spotted two bucks with their antlers together.
He alerted the landowners, Rebarcheck, and his wife, Tami Keenan. The couple tracked the deer to a creek bed, but the bucks moved to a Conservation Reserve Program field.
“They were like a tornado in [the CRP field],” Rebarcheck wrote in a Facebook post. “Both were 3-1/2- to 4-1/2-year-old 8-pointers. [It] would’ve been a beautiful 16-point mount hanging on our wall.”
Rebarcheck brought his bow and even aimed at one point before deciding on freeing them.
According to Cleveland 19, the man turned to Keenan and said. “I said ‘I can’t shoot these deer.’”
Deer Struggle In Dangerous Situation For Bowhunter
Instead of picking off the deer, Rebarcheck told WEAU 13 that he didn’t feel comfortable shooting them “in the situation they were in.”
The man cited his ethics and got his wife to help move the stuck deer to a different area.
The couple got the deer pinned into an area when Rebarcheck got a Milwaukee Grinder out from his truck. As he worked to cut off the antlers, Keenan records a video of the act. Both animals are frantic and determined to escape while hearing the grinding. They’re pretty close to Rebarcheck’s head as he works to free them.
After a few attempts, Keenan catches the two deer separating. Sure, they left some antler pieces for Rebarcheck to do something with, but they’re free.
Wisconsin DNR Hunter Education Administrator and Conservation Warden Jon King told WEAU13 that Rebarcheck “allowed [the bucks] to enjoy a little bit of life… I’m happy that he did.”
The bowhunter said he came across another pair of trapped bucks on his farm in 1999. Rebarcheck told Field and Stream the result “didn’t turn out too well for either buck.”
But this time, the man showed mercy and had no issues with his decision. Maybe next year, he’ll get them next hunting season in a fairer situation. I mean, after all, his wife got it all on video.
Bucks locking antlers while fighting is a rare. But it can prove fatal to one or both creatures unless a Good Samaritan comes in to help.