Two bucks died in Kansas with their antlers locked together, leaving a big clue about how they died.
Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism game wardens posted a Facebook photo Thursday of the deer lying on a field of grass with their antlers still touching.
A resident found them in Rice County, about 80 miles northwest of Wichita.
“Nature can sure throw some curveballs at times,” the game wardens posted.
Director of Law Enforcement Jason Ott told McClatchy News the deer died of natural causes while fighting or sparring.
Bucks spar as part of a breeding strategy to determine strength and resolve, and it usually lasts only a short while before one of the deer withdraws, Pennsylvania State University experts say.
“Don’t waste time or resources on a fight you can’t win. Game over. No one gets hurt (except perhaps the loser’s feelings),” the experts wrote in a blog in 2016.
Obviously, the two Kansas deer were evenly matched up to their deaths.
Their carcasses won’t go to waste, however. The resident who found them notified game wardens to obtain a salvage tag, which is required for any big game and turkeys in the state.