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The Buck Who Carried His Rivalís Head (Deer Survives 2 Months w/ Severed Head Locked in Its Antlers)
Outdoor Hub ^ | February 10, 2014 | Daniel Xu

Posted on 02/22/2014 3:34:18 PM PST by DogByte6RER

The Buck Who Carried His Rival’s Head

Kansas Buck Survives 2 Months With Severed Head Locked in its Antlers photo KansasBuckSurvives2MonthsWithSeveredHeadLockedinitsAntlers_zpsb32ffda8.jpg

While it may look like a grisly trophy, the story behind the picture of the antler-locked bucks above is one of survival and endurance. I recently spoke with Luke Laha, a wildlife management instructor in Kansas, about how he and his students rescued an antler-locked deer that had been carrying around the head of his rival. So how did this deer come to be wearing such bizarre headgear? Laha said that there was once a body attached to that head, before the coyotes came.

Laha works as an instructor at Pratt Community College’s Wildlife Enterprise Management program, and he first saw the deer while scouting out some territory in south-central Kansas. The encounter was a fleeting one, but Laha said that the deer remained in the back of his mind for months.

“I saw it was a decently-sized buck with what I thought at the time was a smaller buck,” Laha said. “But then I saw that all the was left of the second one was the head, spine, and rib cage.”

That was about two months ago. To the coyotes living in the area, the buck was a moving feast. Laha was not able to help the deer on their first meeting, but he remembered the encounter when he and his students came back to the property to trap some ‘yotes. He expected to find the remains of one or both of the deer earlier this year. But he hoped he would find the buck alive and asked his students to keep an eye out for a deer with a rack too many.

“We trapped all week but didn’t see anything,” he said. “On the very last day, Friday, we got to the last trap on the left side of the property and one of my students says ‘hey, there’s your buck.’”

It was January 17 and the snow had mostly melted. Despite lasting this long, Laha could see that the deer was struggling.

“It’s been stressed for the last few months, pulling around its own body weight and looking-eye-to-eye with coyotes,” he explained.

Then Laha and his class moved into action, trailing the buck on 4x4s and on foot. As chases go, it wasn’t the most exciting.

“He was falling over every 20 feet or so, really struggling,” Laha said. “When we got on top of him, the fight was out of him.”

The buck was already down when one of Laha’s students, Zack Sammons, mounted the animal and held it while he and Laha debated how to separate the two racks. Lacking a hacksaw, they ended up doing it by hand. You can see the aftermath below in a video Laha uploaded to YouTube:

Laha added that the whole class was involved in the chase, which occurred mostly on foot after the deer entered the cover of trees.

The buck was released safely, although Laha said he’s not sure if the deer will be strong enough to survive the rest of the winter. He has not seen it since.

Still, with a lighter load and less coyotes chasing him, the buck may very well get a second lease at life. Or at least a better chance than he would waiting for his antlers to shed.

“We weren’t doing this to make a video or make something out of it; we just wanted to save this deer’s life if we could,” Laha said, after the video’s popularity exploded on Facebook.

But Laha did get one additional souvenir from the rescue. He cleared the deer head that dropped off with a game warden and plans on having it mounted in his classroom.

Laha doesn’t plan on naming the mount, but I suggest calling it the “Godfather” buck.

Image courtesy Luke Laha

TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Local News; Miscellaneous; Outdoors; Pets/Animals; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: buck; deer; fieldandstream; kansas; ruttingseason; severedhead; twoheadeddeer; venison; wildlife
deer hall of fame photo: Deer Country at Cabela's Image2163.jpg This buck deserves his very own hall of fame (and not hanging on a wall)
1 posted on 02/22/2014 3:34:18 PM PST by DogByte6RER
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To: All

Direct link to the YouTube video ...

“Locked Up”

2 posted on 02/22/2014 3:35:51 PM PST by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: DogByte6RER

Reminds me of Thudwick, the Moose.

3 posted on 02/22/2014 3:36:15 PM PST by MNDude
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To: MNDude

Anybody up for a doubleheader?

4 posted on 02/22/2014 3:38:28 PM PST by Delta Dawn (Fluent in two languages: English and cursive.)
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To: DogByte6RER
This buck deserves his very own hall of fame (and not hanging on a wall)

Too right. You can't eat the horns. But you can't "grill it till you kill it" either.

As a passing thought any atypical buck (hanging on the wall) got that way by surviving all the fights but the last.

5 posted on 02/22/2014 3:43:13 PM PST by bigheadfred
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To: DogByte6RER

The domesticated version.

6 posted on 02/22/2014 3:43:33 PM PST by Islander7 (There is no septic system so vile, so filthy, the left won't drink from to further their agenda)
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To: DogByte6RER

and they didn’t provide the poor thing with some food, or a bale of hay afterwards?

7 posted on 02/22/2014 3:46:03 PM PST by Chickensoup (leftist totalitarian fascism is on the move.)
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To: DogByte6RER
Has the deer a little doe?

Yeah, two bucks.     nyuk nyuk nyuk

8 posted on 02/22/2014 3:49:16 PM PST by NonValueAdded (Screw the farmers. I can get everything I need at the grocery store.)
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To: DogByte6RER

I’m not squeamish but that’s pretty disturbing.

9 posted on 02/22/2014 3:51:57 PM PST by muir_redwoods (When I first read it, " Atlas Shrugged" was fiction)
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To: DogByte6RER

I bet he didn’t have many more rivals.

But did he get any girls?

10 posted on 02/22/2014 3:55:36 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: Delta Dawn


11 posted on 02/22/2014 3:59:54 PM PST by Uncle Chip
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To: bigheadfred

Those atypicals all look like they were 1 or 2 years shy of “natural death.” Plenty of offspring out there.

12 posted on 02/22/2014 4:04:32 PM PST by gundog (Help us, Nairobi-Wan're our only hope.)
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To: DogByte6RER
Does not work as advertized.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
13 posted on 02/22/2014 4:05:12 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: DogByte6RER

That poor, poor creature, that whole thing must have been awful for him.

I’m glad these people were able to help him and I hope he survives.

14 posted on 02/22/2014 4:16:20 PM PST by jocon307
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To: DogByte6RER

All the other reindeer USED to laugh and call him names.

15 posted on 02/22/2014 4:21:03 PM PST by Slump Tester (What if I'm pregnant Teddy? Errr-ahh -Calm down Mary Jo, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it)
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To: DogByte6RER; waterhill

Omg (ping)

16 posted on 02/22/2014 5:31:32 PM PST by Envisioning (It's the Jihad, stupid......)
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To: DogByte6RER

Does every Cabella’s have a deer hall of fame, or is that the one in Hamburg, PA?

17 posted on 02/22/2014 7:35:56 PM PST by Rodamala
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To: DannyTN; Chickensoup

I don’t imagine he did, after that. Seems like that’d be enough of “the wild thing” for one season.

To Chickensoup- no kidding. There’s no wildlife rescue orgs in Kansas?

18 posted on 02/22/2014 8:13:29 PM PST by KGeorge (Till we're together again, Gypsy girl. May 28, 1998- June 3, 2013)
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To: cripplecreek

WTF!!! What movie (please tell me it’s a movie!!) is that from? More of Grimm and Nefarious Tales?

19 posted on 02/22/2014 8:27:05 PM PST by lee martell
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To: DogByte6RER
Reminds me of the old "Death Valley Days" episode "The Red Ghost of Eagle Creek" (Season 12, Episode 10)...

Most folks will tell you camels are not found in Arizona’s high country. Truth is, those adaptable beasts can thrive in just about any kind of terrain. The U.S. Army introduced camels to the Southwest back in the 1850s, using them as beasts of burden while surveying a road across northern Arizona. But, the Civil War interrupted the great camel experiment, and most of the homely critters were sold at auction. A few were turned loose to run wild—and therein lies the basis for the legend of Red Ghost.

The story begins back in 1883 at a lonely ranch near Eagle Creek in southeastern Arizona. The Apache wars were drawing to a close. However, a few renegade bands were on the prowl, keeping isolated ranches in a constant state of siege. Early one morning, two men rode out to check on the livestock leaving their wives at the ranch with the children. About midmorning, one of the women went down to the spring to fetch a bucket of water while the other remained in the house with the children.

Suddenly one of the dogs began to bark ferociously. The woman inside the house heard a terrifying scream. Looking out the window, she saw a huge, reddish-hued beast run by with a devilish-looking creature strapped on its back.

The frightened woman barricaded herself in the house and waited anxiously for the men to return. That night they found the body of the other woman, trampled to death. Next day tracks were found, cloven hoof prints much larger than those of a horse, along with long strands of reddish hair.

A few days later, a party of prospectors near Clifton were awakened by the sound of thundering hoofs and ear-piercing screams. Their tent collapsed, and the men clawed their way out of the tangle just in time to see a gigantic creature run off in the moonlight. The next day, they too, found huge clovenhoof prints and long, red strands of hair clinging to the brush.

Naturally these stories grew and were embellished by local raconteurs. One man claimed he saw the beast kill and eat a grizzly bear. Another insisted he had chased the Red Ghost, only to have it disappear before his eyes.

A few months after the incident with the miners, Cyrus Hamblin, a rancher on the Salt River, rode up on the animal while rounding up cows. Hamblin recognized the beast as a camel, with something tied to its back that resembled the skeleton of a man. Although Hamblin had a reputation as an honest man and one not given to tall tales, many refused to believe his story. Several weeks later, over on the Verde River, the camel was spotted again, this time by another group of prospectors. They, too, saw something attached to the animal’s back. Grabbing their weapons they fired at the camel but missed. The animal bolted and ran, causing a piece of the strange object to fall to the ground. What the miners saw made the hair bristle on their necks. On the ground lay a human skull with some parts of flesh and hair still attached.

A few days later, the Red Ghost struck again. This time the victims’ were teamsters camped beside a lonely road. They said they were awakened in the middle of the night by a loud scream. According to the terrified drivers, a creature at least 30-feet-tall knocked over two freight wagons and generally raised hell with the camp. The men ran for their lives and hid in the brush. Returning the next day, they found cloven-hoof prints and red strands of hair.

About a year later, a cowboy near Phoenix came upon the Red Ghost eating grass in a corral. Traditionally, cowboys have been unable to resist the temptation to rope anything that wears hair, and this fellow was no exception. He built a fast loop in his rope and tossed it over the camel’s head. Suddenly the angry beast turned and charged. The cowboy’s horse tried to dodge, but to no avail. Horse and rider went down, and as the camel galloped off in a cloud of dust, the astonished cowboy recognized the skeletal remains of a man lashed to its back.

During the next few years, stories of the Red Ghost grew to legendary proportions. The creature made its last appear­ance nine years later in eastern Arizona. A rancher awoke one morning and saw the huge animal casually grazing in his garden. He drew a careful bead with his trusty Winchester and dropped the beast with one shot. An examination of the corpse convinced all that this was indeed the fabled Red Ghost. The animal’s back was heavily scarred from rawhide strips that had been used to tie down the body of a man. Some of the leather strands had cut into the camel’s flesh. But how the human body came to be attached to the back of the camel remains a cruel mystery.

Article from of

20 posted on 02/22/2014 8:43:36 PM PST by BlueLancer (Pachebel --- The original one-hit wonder.)
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To: DannyTN

Of course!

21 posted on 02/22/2014 11:02:44 PM PST by dhs12345
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To: DogByte6RER

It’s hard to know if the dead buck was dead before or after the coyotes 1st encountered the two bucks locked up.

22 posted on 02/23/2014 10:30:00 AM PST by Wuli
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To: Iowa Granny; Ladysmith; Diana in Wisconsin; JLO; sergeantdave; damncat; phantomworker; joesnuffy; ..
If you’d like to be on or off this Outdoors/Rural/wildlife/hunting/hiking/backpacking/National Parks/animals list please FR mail me. And ping me is you see articles of interest.
23 posted on 02/28/2014 3:09:47 PM PST by SJackson (the Democrats take back control, we don’t make (this) kind of naked power grab, J Biden)
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To: SJackson


24 posted on 02/28/2014 3:51:38 PM PST by TADSLOS (The Event Horizon has come and gone. Buckle up and hang on.)
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To: lee martell
What movie (please tell me it’s a movie!!) is that from?

The current series called "The Walking Dead".........

25 posted on 02/28/2014 4:04:38 PM PST by Hot Tabasco (Occam's razor was made by Gillette)
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To: Hot Tabasco

Oh, thanks., I knew it was a movie I would not usually go see. I may read a book about it, but seeing and hearing it all is a different sensation. It’s a well staged scene, I have to complement the directors of body make up and for FX.

26 posted on 02/28/2014 6:56:02 PM PST by lee martell
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To: DogByte6RER

27 posted on 03/01/2014 12:22:03 AM PST by Daffynition ("If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." ~ Henry Ford)
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To: lee martell; Hot Tabasco

28 posted on 03/01/2014 12:26:28 AM PST by Daffynition ("If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." ~ Henry Ford)
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