Deer hunters are familiar with cases of white-tailed bucks getting their antlers locked during rut battles and one or both of the animals subsequently dying.
Billings Gazette outdoors editor Brett French writes about such a classic death-and-death struggle between a pair of bull moose:
The fall mating season can be a dangerous, exhausting and sometimes deadly time of the year for our treasured big game species.
Sometimes we forget that until a reminder comes along like the one provided a few weeks ago by Wyoming Game and Fish warden Jerry Longobardi. Unfortunately, his note got buried in my email so you are only getting to see the photos now. He had responded to a call on Sept. 29 about two dead bull moose that had been found with their antlers fatally locked.
“Both were mature bulls … 5 plus years old,” Longobardi wrote.
“The more typical palmated bull had a 45-inch spread, several points broken off. The other bull was kind of nontypical, deeper indentations in his palms that I think allowed the antlers to become locked.
“The bull on the left broke his neck, and you can see the bull on the right broke his jaw and would have died a long slow death even if they did not get locked up. Looks like he died of stress, exhaustion.”