Forget “Bambi” – one deer that’s become a viral video star showed off his combat prowess by wearing his vanquished opponent’s head.
A Facebook video recently went viral, showing what appears to likely be a Scandinavian red deer proudly sporting the antlers – and most of the head — of another deer he’d killed in single combat. No information regarding when and where the video was taken is provided in the post.
Red deer are cousins of North American elk, and are popular with hunters and wildlife watchers across mainland Europe and the United Kingdom.
Gentle Creatures? Not Hardly
Though they are frequently thought of as docile, peaceful creatures, deer can get downright violent with each other, pets or even humans.
After watching the gruesome footage, a wildlife official said it accurately depicts just how aggressive deer species can get, particularly when males clash during the rut, or mating season.
“It is not uncommon for cervid species like deer, elk and moose to kill one another during their annual battles for the opportunity to mate,” Joey Livingston, spokesman for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department (CPW), told Cowboy State Daily.
“While CPW does not have any hard data on how often this occurs, we find evidence of ungulates killing other ungulates many times every year,” he added.
Thankfully, in most cases the smaller, weaker buck or bull backs down before things turn deadly, Livingston said.
Wyoming Bulls Rumble
Wyoming critters apparently aren’t always gentle with one another either.
While archery hunting last October, Seth Lee of Casper captured breathtaking footage of two massive bull elk violently tangling with each other only a few yards away from Lee and his hunting partner.
Lee told Cowboy State Daily that the bulls initially seemed bent on killing each other, but eventually fought to an exhausted stalemate and parted ways.
Those Aren’t Bullet Holes
Wildlife agents sometimes get calls from people who see wounded deer and assume humans were responsible, but investigations prove otherwise, Livingston said.
“Their antlers are not just for show, and CPW receives many reports of deer with holes in them that the public believes to be bullet wounds, but are actually puncture wounds from another deer,” he said.
Property destruction can also ensue, he added.
“Sometimes antlers can get locked together until one or both animals die and CPW has seen animals get their antlers locked together, then get caught in hammocks or volleyball nets,” Livingston said.
In December, a Colorado Springs homeowner got way more than he bargained for when a mule deer buck ended up in his basement home office.
The rutting buck apparently went bonkers when he saw his own reflection in the office’s large window. He tried charging the “other deer” and ended up crashing right through the window.
Game wardens had to enter the house, shoot the buck with a tranquilizer dart and then carry it all the way through the house and out the front door.
Evanston Woman, Husband Gored
Regardless of the time of year, people should never take for granted that deer are docile, Livingston said. They’re known to become aggressive toward pets, or even humans.
That was the case last October, when Wanda Kaynor of Evanston was hospitalized with seven puncture wounds and a broken vertebrae after she was attacked by a buck mule deer in her driveway. Her husband, Daniel, also suffered a puncture wound.
The deer was lying in the couple’s driveway as they exited their home, and the ruckus started when one of their dogs went after the buck.
Time For A New Tire, Buddy
In a more light-hearted episode, a video surfaced earlier this year on social media depicting a driver taunting a bull elk that had stopped in the middle of the road.
After staring down the driver for a few moments, the bull lowered its head and rammed its antler tines into the driver’s side front tire, rupturing it.