Fighting bull elk found dead with antlers entangled in Nebraska watering hole

Two bull elks found dead locked together in Nebraska pond

Two bull elks were found dead and their antlers locked together in a pond in Garfield County, Nebr.
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Two bull elks were found dead and their antlers locked together in a pond in Garfield County, Nebr.

These two bull elk are “once in a lifetime” kind of elk.

“You’ll never see this again,” one of the men who helped remove the elk from a Nebraska watering hole said. “Not in our country.”

Their antlers are huge. The meat would have been plentiful.

“You go anywhere in the United States and shoot a bull like this and anybody in the country would put this on a magazine,” the man said. “These are quality elk. I mean, obviously, you don’t have to be a brain scientist to figure that out.”

But now, these two fighting bulls will be forever entangled with one another.

The two “awesome bulls” were found dead with their antlers locked together in a watering hole in Garfield County, Nebraska, last week, Kendra Brinkman posted to Facebook. She works for Pitzer Ranch, and she documented the once-in-a-lifetime elk removal with a video on YouTube.

“We had a bit of a tragedy,” she said in the video. “We’ve known that these elk have been here, but dad was up here a day or so ago to check cattle and happened to see their antlers sticking up.”

While nobody saw how the bulls died, Brinkman said in the video that she thinks they were fighting, even though the end of October is late for rutting season. That’s the season where “bulls are crazed, thinking only about breeding cows,” according to Outdoor Life magazine.

“To this end, bulls challenge each other for rights to cows by bluffing or by outright battles in which slashing antlers determine the victor,” the magazine says. “The loser rapidly retreats, but if he isn’t quick enough he might be killed.”

In this case, though, neither got out of the pond alive.

Their meat couldn’t be salvaged because it was warm outside, the Omaha-Word Herald reported, but their heads and antlers will be preserved. The ranchers plan to mount the elks together, according to the newspaper. Both were estimated to be about 800-pounds each, the newspaper reported.

“It’s really too bad that these elk had to die this way,” Brinkman said in her video.

A Kansas game warden in Clark County responded to two bucks with their antlers locked together this week. One had died, according to the wardens' Facebook page. This video is from the game warden's body camera.