JACKSON COUNTY, Kan. — A sharpshooting Kansas game warden shot off a piece of horn and freed a pair of deer Thursday that had locked antlers, saving them from what could have been an excruciating death, wildlife officials said.
Two game wardens responded after a bow hunter spotted the two whitetail deer entangled by their horns in Jackson County, according to Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.
“At the time, the wardens didn’t know how long the bucks had been struggling to free themselves, but quickly observed that the deer had enough energy and wariness remaining to make approaching them difficult and potentially dangerous,” the agency said on social media. “However, the wardens were determined to do their best to save them from an excruciating death.”
Body camera video shows game warden Jeff Clouser take aim at the bucks, hitting a piece of antler and freeing them. Both deer ran off uninjured.
“It is not uncommon for bucks to get tangled up when they fight, but they usually free themselves,” Capt. Larry Hastings, with the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, told the Star. “We have had several of our game wardens shoot the antlers to break them apart when they can’t free themselves.”
In October, wildlife officials found the carcasses of two deer that died with their antlers locked together, the Kansas City Star reported.