Sunday, November 09, 2008

Rutting Mishap



The Whitetail mating season is not without danger for the bucks. Injuries do occur when these strong opponents engage in combat. Facial injuries are common along with gouges to the neck and shoulder areas along with flank wounds when the bucks separate.



When I first observed this buck he was thrashing his head against a tree in an attempt to remove the antler dangling about his head. As you can see his skull is fractured. The antler is still attached to the pedicel with the pedicel being held in place by skin. As we observed him it was abundantly clear that the dangling antler was annoying him considerably.


I remember one buck some years ago that was found dead with a wound to his chest. The wound appeared to be that of a rifle bullet. Suspecting it to be the work of a poacher we opened the buck in search of a bullet. The wound channel had pierced the chest ending in the opposing shoulder. A metal detector gave no indication of metal. As the buck was found in a back field well away from any road we arrived at the conclusion that the fatal wound had been delivered by another buck.






15 comments:

Faye Pekas said...

This is sad. I wish nature was always kind but....

Louise said...

Ouch!

Ashrunner said...

I saw a Mule Deer here in a similar predicament. He had damaged his rack in a tangle with another buck. Having watched a number of rutting bucks go to it, it's a wonder it doesn't happen more often.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

That's a sad but interesting story. It's a dangerous life all around.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Poor thing!! Here if our buck loose a horn it does not grow again so the cannot defend his females and so looses them to others.

fishing guy said...

Salty: Definetly a sad situation and it is a quetion if he will survive. We had a deer in the Cleveland area that got its head caught in a plastic pumpkin and she couldn't get it off. That was also sad.

Ivar Ivrig said...

This is nature. These bucks will do anything to be the leader. Survival of the fitest. It is somehow sad, but true ( as Metallica says). Have a wonderful week, Salty

Shellmo said...

I know its the law of nature - but I am rooting for him to get the antler off and survive!

Kerri said...

Very sad!

photowannabe said...

Survival of the fittest. Nature at its realest. Great documentation but sad all the same.

Bradley Myers said...

Salty, I hope you and Willard had a great time and seen many deer. I did manage to get out in my area on Sunday and get into a little action. Like you guys it was early in the morning and went away fast.

Part of nature but still very sad to see such a fine buck in that position. Looking forward to more photos from the trip.

Tina said...

wow...a saddening site indeed. I was completely unaware that they rutted this severely! Deer here in Ohio are in abundance and with farmers harvesting their corn, many have been doomed to being hit by cars and left to lay along side the roadways. Deer are one of my favorite wildlife to capture, but to be captured alive this time of year would be pure luck for me! I did enjoy the viewing the young buck photo against the morning skyline!

Cape Cod Memories said...

Ouch!!! Poor thing! I know it's all really a part of nature, and that we as humans tend to humanize animals... but still... poor thing!

Meggie said...

Yikes! How painful...poor guy!

Wolf Lover Girl said...

ooohhh... I know its what happens in nature but that is just so sad to see. Too bad you can't get close enough to help pull it off.

~ Wolf Lover Girl