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article imageLovelorn Buck Kills Self

By Bob Gordon     Nov 16, 2009 in Environment
A deer, a seven-point buck, was killed when it rammed a 640-pound concrete statue of an elk in the backyard of Mark and Carol Brye's home in rural Viroqua.
Viroqua is about 20 miles south-southeast of La Crosse. Mark and Carol Brye's Viroqua home has a life-size statue of a bull elk in the yard. "Our son and daughter gave it to us for Christmas four years ago because we like to hunt elk," Brye told the La Crosse Tribune. "The elk is a nice thing to see every morning. It looks pretty cool, especially on a foggy morning."
Bucks often fight during the breeding season, also known as the rut. Dominant bucks fight with subordinate bucks for control of breeding territories and female deer (cows) by sparring. Antler battles sometimes result in the death of one or both bucks, but usually end with one buck winning and the other fleeing.
One night in the first week of November, a local buck took umbrage at the challenge he perceived himself to be getting from the concrete elk. Furious, he charged and head butted the concrete elk. He hit it hard enough to tip it over, snapping its antlers off. Photos of the victim of the assault can be seen here.
However, the attack left the deer mortally wounded. It staggered about 20 feet and then collapsed. According to Brye its skull was shattered and its antlers were hanging loosely.
The Vernon County conservation warden tagged the buck with a note that read: 'lawn ornament fight -- lost.' Not one to 'look a gift buck in the mouth,' Byre dressed and butchered the 180 pound deer and it now resides in his freezer.
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