Locked Antlers !
These two bucks paid the ultimate price for their battle for breeding rights. This black and white photo was taken in the early 1970s in South Texas on the famous King Ranch, after a cowboy found the carcass while working cattle. Even though the permanent locking of antlers is fairly unusual, serious injury like body punctures, broken bones and eye injuries are quite common.
When two bucks are equally matched, it isn't too unheard of for a far inferior buck, that is smart enough to hang back while they run and fight themselves out of strength, to end up as the breeder. However, bucks are generally smart enough to back down from actual injury producing combat. Most of the interfaces go to the best bluffer!
Horny Harry was a young buck that got his name because of his efforts to breed every doe he saw. He was all over an 8000 acre ranch in Mexico, following close behind as a number of larger bucks chased a number of estrus does. When a doe would run, the big buck would follow her every step, while Harry would take the shortcut to where she was going. It was quite comical to watch him pull this off time after time in the large lagunas where you could see the chase unfold. The larger buck would be completely exhausted and ol' Harry would be fresh as a daisy. He always gave ground to the larger bucks when they tried to chase him off, but he never went far. I really don't know whether he ever bred a doe, but it certainly wasn't because he didn't try !!
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