Deer hunters free bucks with antlers locked together

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Hughesville, Mo -- A deer hunting party armed with ropes and a battery-powered saw began tracking their quarry on Jan. 21 with hopes of helping two large white-tail deer live.

The night before, two bucks were spotted on Alan Meyer’s farm with their antlers locked together, about 12 miles north of Sedalia in the Hughesville area. They apparently became entangled during a fight, exhaustion and starvation their apparent fate.

But Meyer, along with family and friends, began tracking the two deer in the snow. They didn’t want to see animals they respect suffer.

“Quite a few us, we’ve all deer hunted together, and everybody just wanted to see them turned loose,” he said.

Luckily, they snow help them track the bucks.

“Sometimes the tracks were jumbled,” Meyer said. “At other times, you could hardly tell anything was wrong and they were walking side by side.”

They found the tangled 8- and 10-point bucks, but the deer ran from the rescue party, crashing through a few fences and at one time being astraddle a fence with antlers locked.

The deer fell down a few times and the hunting party tried to put a rope around their rear feet to hold them still, but the deer managed to get up.

Finally, the deer fell and Blake Meyer and Aaron Clark grabbed the bucks’ rear legs and stretched them out. The weary deer then lay still. Gary Clark used a portable battery-powered saw to cut off a main beam from one buck’s antlers. It was enough to free the deer. The dazed bucks staggered away from one another and quietly walked their separate ways into the brush.

Also helping to track and hold the deer down were Ryland Chamberlain, Trent Templeton, Justin Thomas, Jason Chamberlain and Dustin Meyer of Pettis County.

Alan Meyer, 54, said there was a time or two when the party thought they might have to kill the deer to end their suffering.

“But we stayed with it and got ‘er done,” he said. “It was a once in a lifetime experience.”