Video captures bizarre ‘slap fight’ between bucks

HARDEMAN COUNTY, Tennessee — It’s common for deer, elk and moose to fight during the rut, with dominant males and younger contenders battling for mates and territory.

While the duration and outcome of these encounters vary wildly, the common denominator in most of the cases is that the animals use their antlers in the fighting.

So what happens when a pair of bucks decide to stand on their hind legs and engage in old-fashioned fisticuffs? As shown in a recent video, the result looks more like slap fighting than boxing.

Of course, this was probably no playful sparring match for the deer — each strike of the hoof was capable of inflicting injuries on the opponent. And because the animals move out of the camera’s frame during their skirmish, it’s impossible to know the outcome.

The strange encounter was recorded by a trail camera placed by Amy and Bubba Spencer, officers with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. According to the video post on the agency’s Facebook page, the pair placed the camera in Hardeman County, Tennessee. The post speculates that the bucks were fighting over a “small food plot.”

The agency states on its website that the range of white-tailed deer in the state has expanded dramatically over the past several decades. In the 1940s, the deer were only found in a few counties. As of the most recent study, they’re now present in all 95 of Tennessee’s counties and have a population of approximately 900,000.

Grant Olsen

About the Author: Grant Olsen

Grant Olsen joined the contributor team in 2012. He covers outdoor adventures, travel, product reviews and other interesting things. He is also the author of the book “Rhino Trouble.” You can contact him at

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