‘Two-Headed’ Deer Shot, Killed in Kentucky

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November 16, 2018 Updated: November 16, 2018

A hunter in Kentucky shot and killed a deer with an additional head attached to it, according to a Facebook post from a local government agency this week.

Bob Long said he saw large antlers before he took aim at the animal in Ballard County. However, “what he found upon recovery was astounding,” said the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Deer Rut Double Take: Check out this unique Ballard County harvest!Bob Long saw big antlers when he took aim at his…

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources‎‏ في الخميس، ١٥ نوفمبر ٢٠١٨

“It’s unclear exactly what circumstances led up to this buck’s carrying around another set of antlers and part of a decomposing carcass. Regardless, it was truly a rare harvest,” the agency wrote on Facebook.

Photos uploaded to Facebook showed the hunter holding up both heads at the same time. Other details about the deer and hunter are not clear.

The bucks’ antlers may have got stuck together after a fight. During the mating season, which typically lasts about three weeks, “bucks are busy sparring with each other, rubbing trees, and creating scrapes,” says the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

During mating season, or the rut, “sparring matches may help establish the dominance hierarchy among males. As the peak of the breeding season approaches, sparring matches may give way to full-blown antler fights. These generally take place between bucks of similar hierarchal status,” says the Noble Research Institute.

In some cases, the fights can be to the death. A mule deer killed another buck during a rut in Arizona, which was captured in this graphic viral video: “Shows how brutal life can be in the wild.” Some fights can result in both bucks dying.

In a number of states, firearm hunting season for deer started this week.

In a 2014 study, bucks, which are also known as male fallow deer, can call for a mate more than 3,000 times per hour during the rut.

“Fallow bucks are among the most impressive vocal athletes of all deer and invest a large amount of time and energy in calling,” explained Dr. Benjamin Pitcher from Queen Mary’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, according to the study.

Bucks produce a groan to attract mates and ward off competing males.

“Until recently we have known relatively little about who is listening to their calling, and what information they are hearing,” noted Dr. Alan McElligott, also from Queen Mary’s School of Biological and Chemical Science.

In the study, “The deer were more responsive to fast rate groans than to slow rate groans indicating that bucks signal their motivation or aggressiveness in how quickly they call. The bucks also recognised groans from early in the rut, recorded before callers became tired, as more threatening than groans recorded later in the rut. This shows that bucks can detect when rivals are becoming fatigued and that exhausted males pose less of a threat,” according to Phys.org.

Male deer during the rut can stop feeding and lose about a quarter of their overall body weight. It’s because they’re focused on finding mates

Pitcher noted: “We know from this recent study that by detecting changes in calls, bucks are able to judge which rival is most vulnerable to be challenged and when to fight.”