He reached out to an old college buddy who worked for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. He advised Burke not to touch the deer and put him in contact with Joshua Shields, the ODNR conservation officer for Meigs County. Shields was too busy to examine the scene until the following Monday. “It was the peak of the rut, and I knew there’d be a lot of hunters in the field,” Burke says.
He kept the find quiet and maintained a close eye on his property until Monday rolled around.
WARNING: The photos in this gallery are graphic in nature and may disturb some readers, but we feel they are necessary to tell the story of this rare natural occurance. - The Eds
To a hunter, it’s a stomach-tightening, bizarre sight. At the same time, it’s a stark example of the potential ferocity and brutality of the whitetail rut. These three Ohio bucks somehow locked antlers while battling near a small creek. When one deer slid into a shallow pool, it sealed the fate for all three, who drowned together, antlers still locked. Steve Hill talked to the men who found and recovered the deer and their combined 400-inches of antler to bring you the story of this sad, almost poetic scene.