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Hunter shoots big 10-point buck which won antler fight with 11-point buck

Dave Tisdell shot this 10-point buck Monday north of Lake Plantagenet. When he went to the kill site he was surprised to see that the buck and an 11-pointer were locked together by the horns. The other deer had broken its neck and was already dead. (Submitted Photo)1 / 2
Dave Tisdell of Bemidji was surprised when he found these two deer locked together by their antlers after he shot the 10-pointer. The other deer, an 11-point buck, had broken its neck during the struggle.2 / 2

The bucks are definitely in the rut north of Lake Plantagenet and Dave Tisdell of Bemidji discovered first-hand on Monday how serious the battles for male dominance in the deer world can be.

Tisdell was walking through the woods when he spotted a deer in a swamp about 70 yards away. The animal's head was hidden by brush but Tisdell had an antlerless permit so he thought he would fill his tag.

The shot was true and the deer fell.

"When I walked up to where I had shot the deer there were two of them on the ground," Tisdell said. "I hit my deer through the lungs but there was another deer next to it."

Tisdell's deer proved to be a 10-point buck while its companion had 11 points. What was unusual about the two deer is that their antlers were locked and the 11-pointer was dead before Tisdell spotted them.

At some point the deer sparred for dominance and during the battle their antlers became entangled to the point where they would not separate. Tisdell believes that during the struggle to free themselves the 11-pointer broke its neck and the 10-pointer was destined to drag its companion wherever it went.

Conservation officer Paul Parthun, who visited the scene after being contacted by Tisdell, said that he had heard of bucks locking horns to the death before but that such an occurrence is very rare.

The 11-pointer buck had been dead for at least a few days and the meat was not salvageable. Tisdell did, however, keep the head for a possible future mount.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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