Today at lunchtime, two bucks decided to duke it out in the field next door to determine who was truly the king of the forest. Their locked antlers clanked as one would lunge and the other would parry in reply...it was as if two swashbucklers were vying for control of a pirate ship in a 1930s film!
This time of year is rutting season, and these eager white tailed bucks will stop at almost nothing to have their way with the does. They will run straight out into the roadway, lose track of where the hunters are, and even run themselves ragged in the pursuit of this quest.
The dogs barking finally ended their epic battle and what appeared to be the larger, and most likely older of the two bucks ran off into the woods with the buck pictured above and below following closely behind to ensure his victory.
Then, as if he was re-enacting a scene from a Rocky movie, the winner did a victory lap around the field, and across the road into the other field before returning to head back into the woods to assert his new found dominance.
As you can tell from the photos above, he was exhausted, panting heavily and snorting to remind everyone that he had won, and that no one better mess with him...including us! We keep a safe distance this time of year, because as you can see, that rack could do quite a bit of damage if he decided to challenge us or the dogs.
I wonder how the females feel about all of this? I'm sure their instincts tell them this is the natural order of things, and his male bravado will likely be rewarded based on years of evolution. It was quite a sight to see, and I'm glad the buck decided to stop here so that we could witness it!