Department of Fish and Wildlife Officers See Green Tangle in Buck's Antlers, Know They Need to Dart Him


The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff got an unusual call from the Dallas, Oregon, police department in early December when a festive buck was trotting through a residential area.

The buck apparently had crashed through a homeowner’s outdoor lights display, tearing the lights from their mounts and getting the strands tangled in its antlers.

“Thanks to a call from the Dallas Police Department yesterday, ODFW staff were able to locate and dart the buck to remove the lights,” the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife commented in a Facebook post.

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For bucks in the middle of rutting season, it could lead to the death of not one but two healthy males as their antlers get tangled together and they slowly die of starvation or dehydration.

“Bucks rub their antlers on trees, bushes and other objects— in September to get rid of velvet and during the rut from October into mid-December to mark territory and show dominance against other bucks,” the Facebook post continued.

“Each fall we receive reports of bucks tangled up in volleyball nets, hammocks and yes, even Christmas lights.”

This particular buck thankfully was seen before it became caught on anything and was safely sedated so that wildlife officers could remove the lights.

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The buck was in good health, with no injuries discovered, and was tagged for future identification before being released back into the wild.

Deer sedated while lights are removed

The best way to avoid any unpleasantness for both you and any deer is to hang lights high enough in trees that they’re out of reach for the animals.

It’s also best to remove any hammocks, volleyball nets or other netting when not in use and store the materials in a safe place.

Thankfully for the buck in Dallas, Oregon, wildlife staff members were there to untangle it before any harm was done, and a nice, long nap is the only thing the deer will be left with from the encounter.

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This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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