When two male deer engage in combat over mating access to a sexy female deer, they sometimes lock up in more than just the figurative sense of the term.
Specifically, the antlers of the deer — their primary weapons in battle — sometimes latch on to each other so strongly that the deer are unable to separate themselves after the fight ends. This is problematic for many reasons, not the least of which is the awkward situation it creates when the winner and the loser are stuck staring deeply into each other’s eyes.
Locked antlers can make it extremely difficult for the deer to move or eat, which is obviously not exactly conducive to their desire to remain alive (or to get it on with the aforementioned lady deer).
In the video above, an Illinois Conservation Police officer takes a unconventional — and very effective — approach to separating a victorious deer’s antlers from its nearly deceased victim: he shoots them apart with his gun.
It’s a pretty creative solution to the problem, and, more importantly, it’s totally bad-ass. Officers can usually manage to use tools other than bullets to separate locked antlers, but sometimes they have to think outside the box. It’s lucky this officer is such a great shot.
Unsurprisingly, the video has ruffled some feathers among the animal rights crowd. A self-described “supporter of PETA” said on Facebook that he was “appalled at this video.” He added: “The officer should have confronted the deer prior to shooting at them.”
Confronted them? To politely ask them to go their separate ways?
The Illinois Department of National Resources defended the officer’s actions, saying they were “vital to ensure the survival of the bucks.”