When Bucks Attack

Brow Tines and Backstrap

When Bucks Attack

Posted 2012-11-13T13:30:00Z  by  Will Brantley

When Bucks Attack

Here's a challenge for you. Grab the main beam of a 3 ½-year-old buck's antler and break it over your knee. Go ahead. Can't even crack it? Try harder, Nancy Boy.

Little easier said than done, huh? So here's some food for thought: Fighting bucks routinely snap each others' main beams this time of year. They don't build up those thick neck muscles for nothing. A big buck is a brutishly strong, somewhat ill-tempered critter during the rut, particularly if you have him wounded and backed into a thicket, as Louisiana hunter Chad Herbert and his sons, Gavin and Dawson, found out after Gavin wounded a 10-point buck. The trio had tracked the deer into a thicket when it attacked. Chad sustained some minor injuries, but lucky for him, his sons were there to fend off the attack with their knives.

Deer are prey animals—to us and everything else with canine teeth—and as such, aren't prone to attacks. But it does happen. A wounded animal increases the chances, but there are documented cases of rutting bucks killing people without provocation. If you decide to fight a buck bare-handed, the buck's probably gonna win.

You may think that old TV hunting practice of poking a dead deer's eye with your rifle barrel or arrow is goofy and comical. But if such a thing keeps 5 inches of G2 from skewering your left butt cheek, perhaps it's worth a second thought. And just think: that G2 could have a sticker. Ouch.

On another note -- that's a danged nice deer, especially for Louisiana. Congrats to the Herberts. I bet they won't be forgetting that buck any time soon.