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Guys doing what guys do best: butting heads

Brief by Allen Best

Wildlife – February 2009 – Colorado Central Magazine

You’ve heard the cliché about locked horns?

Cindy Cohagen had a rare opportunity to observe that phenomenon while walking her dog recently in the countryside near Eagle. Two deer bucks were smashing their an

“It was absolutely one of the most incredible spectacles of my entire life,” Cohagen told the Eagle Valley Enterprise.

Tranquilizers are sometimes used to separate animals, but it was too cold. Instead, state wildlife officer Bill Andree lassoed one side of the entangled antlers, and with the aid of assistants, wrestled the deer to the ground. He then sawed off one of the antlers. That did the trick. The bucks, freed from one another, bounded off into the hills.

Andree said he has never had to physically untangle deer before, even if bucks often lock antlers. “Usually they get apart before officers can get there. Once in a while, they die,” he said.

The antler-bashing routine is part of what bucks do during mating season. “They’re doing it because they’re guys,” he said.

After the end of breeding season in early winter, the antlers start dropping off.