A conservation police officer, state trooper and forest preserve officer were all called out to try free the bucks in Illinois last week. The pair had become dangerously entangled during a fight and could be seen kicking and writhing in a bid to free themselves on the video, filmed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.There are lots of photos on the 'net of locked bucks who have died as a result or being unable to free themselves; see for example my previous post on rat kings.
"He's worn out, he's going to give you a shot," one of the officers can be heard saying as they circle the bucks looking for an opportunity to shoot without harming either animal. The shooter sees an opening and fires his first shot but it takes another three bullets to separate the antlers completely.
One of the deer then runs quickly away while the other hobbles off with a noticeable limp. The men can be heard discussing the possibility of putting down the animal if it is injured. It is not known if the animal survived.
A spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources told the Daily Mail newspaper that in cases such as this the deer would die if they could not free themselves.