Skip to comments.With one shot, Kansas game warden frees two deer
Posted on 02/11/2017 10:04:56 AM PST by JoeProBono
Like most members of law enforcement, Lynn Koch dreads the day he has to draw his service weapon. Even if to protect his own life, it can mean death to another person.
But on a cold winter day Koch, a Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks game warden, drew his .45 Glock to save the lives of two animals, and ensure the safety of another game warden and his own.
I have a lariat in my pickup, but knew there was no way to use it without one of us maybe getting hurt, Koch said of when he and fellow game warden, Brad Hageman, came across two buck deer with their antlers locked together on Dec. 20. I talked to Brad and we both decided it was best to use the gun.
A video of the encounter was posted on the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism game wardens Facebook page on Monday. A body camera shows the two deer struggling in the snow in Coffey County. Koch asks, Should I just try to shoot the antler? Several seconds later, he says, All right, boys, hold still. Hold still.
He eased to within about 20 feet of the two deer, took careful aim and shot where the antlers were tangled and the bucks ran away free.
It doesnt always end up like that, he said, referring to the times when both bucks die from exhaustion or are killed and eaten by coyotes. Last year I (shot the antlers to free two bucks) but one of the deer was already dead. He told stories of coyotes eating on a dead buck while a live buck was still dragging it around.
Matt Peek, Wildlife and Parks acting big game program coordinator, described bucks battling until antlers are locked as not too common, but we hear about it at least a couple of times a year.
Battles between rival bucks can sometimes be pretty brutal, with one hitting the other hard enough to shatter its antlers. Every year some Kansas whitetail and mule deer bucks are found dead, from where one was gored by the other.
But Peek said locked antlers arent always from brute force. He said its often just a little point coming off another, one set of antlers that tightly fits between the others or just one antler point giving just enough, without breaking, for the racks to become tangled.
A lot of times whats holding them together is hard to even see, or it seems insignificant until you try to get them apart, he said. Sometimes they get locked and I dont think theyre even battling that hard, theyre just kind of sparring a little and something goes wrong.
Peek said most locked bucks are found during the peak of the breeding season, which is late October through November, but theyve been found freshly locked as late as February. The biologist said theres often breeding at these later times as bucks find a fawn thats late coming into her first estrous. A mature doe that didnt get bred in the main breeding season might also come back into estrous.
Koch and Hageman arent sure why the two bucks were fighting each other. They just know they were a long ways from being exhausted.
For one thing, they werent locked head to head, they were kind of locked side by side so they could really move, said Koch. We chased them for probably over a mile. They could run faster than we could. We followed them across creeks, through trees and (tall grass) fields. Finally they end up on the ice, and fell long enough for me to make a lucky shot.
I think the wide-angle lens make it look like a longer shot than it actually was. You’d want to be pretty close if you wanted to hit just an antler and not a deer.
The best part is the way he laughs after he shoots.
Good shooting. Happy ending.
>I think the wide-angle lens make it look like a longer shot than it actually was.
“He eased to within about 20 feet of the two deer, took careful aim and shot where the antlers were tangled”
Kansas Game Wardens Recognized for Exemplary Efforts
We found some years ago locked together, but we heeled them and both and hacksawed the antlers of one buck off. I have tons of pictures of them.
Cool picture, I guess we know who won that battle
But who will have the last laugh...
Even deer are converting to become muslims????
Gives new meaning to “trophy buck.” Two for the price of one. Would you have to use two tags or one?
Sounds about right.
He knows how to get the best bang for his buck(s).
Oh that’s just great! No mating for them this season cuz they now look like wankers!
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