null Skip to Main Content
Two Locked Trophy Bucks, and Other Incredible Finds from the Deer Woods

Brow Tines and Backstrap

Two Locked Trophy Bucks, and Other Incredible Finds from the Deer Woods

Posted 2024-05-28  by  Mike Hanback

Fascinating recent discoveries include a potential record deadhead and a buck buried in mud

Image: wierd_deer_1

An Ohio hunter shot the bigger of these two bucks after it locked up with and killed the smaller one.

One November day, Lee, an Ohio bowhunter, saw a huge buck with its head down, backpedaling across a cornfield, dragging a second buck by the antlers. A rut fight had ended with four tightly locked antlers. The 10-pointer was dead, and the victorious 17-pointer was stressed and struggling. Lee slipped in and shot the big buck with his bow. Two trophies on the ground. He immediately called the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. An officer checked Lee’s tagged buck and issued him a salvage tag for the dead 10-pointer.

A local taxidermist mounted the heads separately, but Lee had a better idea. He built a grass-and-sapling base, locked the bucks and antlers together, and displayed the deer in fighting form, just as he had encountered them that wild November day.

Image: wierd_deer_3

Drew’s deadhead is massive, and collecting it marked the end to a long story.

A Deadhead for the Ages

Shed hunters who roam the woods in spring find some deadheads, which are the skulls and attached antlers of bucks that died months or even a year earlier. Most deadhead discoveries are average 8- and 10-pointers, with racks that score 120 to maybe 150 on the high end. Nothing like the humongous skull a bowhunter named Drew found in a creek bottom a few years ago.

Drew had been bowhunting a tremendous buck for three years. “A truly remarkable animal that we called ‘Moose,’” he said. Drew had several close encounters with the giant but never got a shot at him or held those massive antlers in his hands. Until one sad spring day.

“Unfortunately, Moose died due to another bowhunter’s mistake the previous fall, and we recovered his bones and antlers the next spring,” Drew said. The rack scored a whopping 252-1/8. “And that was after squirrels had chewed off maybe 10 to 20 inches of antler during the winter,” Drew said.

An official scorer said Moose would have been one of the biggest bucks ever to be harvested by bow or firearm in Ohio.

Image: wierd_deer_5

Few bucks are as unique as this deer, which was buried in mud.

The Mud Pit Buck

One December afternoon, a group of bird hunters working a grassland in southeastern Kansas came upon a big mud pit. One guy glanced down and saw the tip of an antler sticking up in the gunk. They looked closer and saw that a whole deer had somehow become buried in the pit.

The hunters set down their guns, rounded up the dogs and started digging. They uncovered a skull with heavy golden antlers and in incredibly pristine condition.

“We figured the mud had protected the antlers from the weather and chewing animals,” one fellow said. The rack gross-scored 164, with a 10-inch inside spread, six points on the right beam, nine points on the left, and a long unicorn spike with a big fork sprouting up in the middle. What a beautiful mount that rack made, with an amazing story to go with it.


Exit off-canvas