Alsheimer: Whitetail Bucks Still Looking for a Fight

Charles Alsheimer on Deer & Deer Hunting

Even as the rut wanes, bucks are still fired up and will fiercely battle with rivals. (photo copyright Charles J. Alsheimer)

When hunters think of vicious buck fights they envision encounters that occur in the late pre-rut or when the rut goes hot-to-trot. Though some of the most incredible fights occur during this time, fighting doesn’t end when the rut ends. Some of the most impressive fights I’ve witnessed in my career took place when the rut was over.

I photographed the fight that illustrates this week’s blog post around Dec. 1. Though it lasted less than two minutes, I thought one or both of the bucks would come out of it with life-threatening injuries. The fight ended when the buck on the right had had enough, broke the fight off, and ran for cover with the other buck in hot pursuit. Fortunately, neither buck appeared to be seriously injured.

Watch this awesome video of two great bucks fighting!  


Many knock-down, drag-out fights occur in late November and early December because bucks simply cannot turn off their aggression. Their testosterone level is still high and they are driven to hold rank as the most dominant buck in their home range. Because antlers become harder and more brittle with each passing day as autumn wears on, it is common for tines and beams to break when late-season fights take place. So, remember that aggressive calling and rattling can still be a successful tactic on testosterone-fueled mature bucks at the tail end of the rut.

– Charlie

Learn Top Tactics for Whitetails Across North America from Tom Miranda

The Rut Hunters – Pursuit of the Whitetail SlamThe Rut Hunters by Tom Miranda is a complete guide to Whitetail SLAM, the Ultimate Deer Hunting Challenge that provides for any hunter to register any and all of the eight subgroups of whitetails in North America. Containing how-to instruction from top hunters like Don Kiskey, Eddie Claypool, Melissa Bachman, Tony Peterson, and Stan Potts, this resource gives an informed inside look at obtaining and registering your buck with Whitetail SLAM. Get expert instruction on whitetail species and habitats, planning your hunt, hunt swaps, and more, as well as a look at other hunters’ big game accomplishments. With the Ultimate Deer Hunting Challenge and this from-the-source guide for participating, you can now pursue and be recognized for obtaining multiple subspecies of white-tailed deer.