The racks of two of those bucks are estimated to score in the 130s. The third buck is estimated to score in the 160s. How they came to be locked together is somewhat of a mystery, but a lady is no doubt the primary suspect.
By nature, whitetails are aggressive animals. In parts of the country where they have exceeded their primary range, such as the far west, whitetails have been known to drive out the native, more mild mannered mule deer and claim the land as their own — and they’ve been successful doing just that.
However, once mating season arrives in the whitetail’s world, their aggressiveness can mean their undoing as they fight each other for breeding rights. Sometimes those fights are to the death, as was the case with these three bucks.
One can only speculate how the scene played out: A doe in estrous attracted the attention of a mature buck. The ruckus caused by the buck chasing the doe probably drew the attention of a second buck. A fight broke out. The sound of their antlers clicking together pulled in a third buck that couldn’t resist joining the fight. And somehow they all ended up locked together until death.
Reportedly, the ground on the uphill side of the pond had been scraped down to dirt and rocks, which indicates that the battle between these three bucks was not short lived. With their antlers locked together, the bucks gradually worked downhill and into the water, where they were discovered weeks later.
Mr. Burke could not be reached for comment.
Editor’s Note: Photographs of this bizarre find have been circulating the Internet since mid-November of 2010 (two of these are shown). Some have questioned the story’s validity, and why the antlers were tied together with plastic tie wraps. The author did confirm the story with Officer Shields, who was the DNR officer in charge and is in the attached photos. We understand the tie wraps were used to keep the antlers locked in place as they were found, perhaps for taxidermy purposes. One report said the deer were green scored at: 122 (7-point); 140 (10-point) and 169 (10-point).
Three mature bucks - all over 130 inches - were found dead in a creek, with antlers locked together, in Meigs County, OH. The deer drowned in waist-deep water while fighting during last November’s rut season.
Fact BoxThree mature bucks - all over 130 inches - were found dead in a creek last fall, with antlers locked together, in Meigs County, OH.