Tragic tangle

Gainesville resident Richard Miller, left, and grandsons Grant, 8, and Braden, 12, found this pair of deer dead in Miller’s field in Gainesville on Friday, Nov. 13. The two deer, an 8-point buck and a 10-point buck, died with their antlers locked together, likely from sparring or fighting. 

Miller’s daughter, Brenda Frye, told the Times  her dad and her two sons were in the field fixing fence and moving a deer stand Friday in preparation for the opening day of rifle season Saturday when her dad found deer hair in a few spots. About 40 to 50 yards from where the hair was found, they found the two dead deer. Miller said the larger, 10-point buck, on the right in this photo, had two puncture wounds on his neck that appeared to be from the other buck’s antlers. The smaller, 8-point buck, left, appeared to have been dead longer than the 10-point buck, she said. 

“It was odd that there were the puncture wounds, because there was no blood anywhere. So we’re not sure if those wounds actually even hurt him or not,” Frye said. “My dad thought maybe the smaller one was hurt and died, and the larger one drug it around until it was too exhausted. Those are just speculations, though. No one is exactly sure what happened.” Miller contacted Missouri Department of Conservation Agent Jerry Kiger, who came out to see the deer that day. 

“This is only the second time in approximately 20 years with the department that I’ve seen that,” Kiger told the Times. “It’s not real common but it’s not unheard-of either.”

Kiger said there is no way to tell for sure how the deer died. 

“It really depends how long they’re locked up. They may starve to death because they can’t feed, or one of them may die from an injury and the other one wears out and both die, or one or both could die from an injury.”

He said based on the condition of the deer, he believes the deer were found fairly soon after the death of at least one or maybe both of the deer.

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423