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Sharp-shooting wildlife official manages to save two bucks with a single shot

Russ Wright knew something was wrong in February of 2020 when he was driving up to his home and noticed two large, male deer acting oddly in his field in the Municipal District of Foothills, south of Calgary, Canada.

“One was lying down the other was over the top of the other, with his head into the other deer’s head,” he told CTV News of the sight.

“(I was) thinking this is odd, something’s not right.”

When you see something like this as a civilian, it’s best not to get anywhere near it.

Deer can be aggressive, especially bucks that sometimes fight for territory or mates.

But it’s not common to see two male deer lock antlers outside of breeding season.

“They fight during the breeding season, but now they’re losing their antlers and not fighting so much anymore, this was kind of a one-off,” he said.

Wright called Alberta Fish and Wildlife.

One of the deer looked dead at first, but by the time Sgt. Scott Kallweit arrived at the scene the bucks were once again wrangling wildly.

It turns out their antlers were intertwined.

The deer couldn’t get free from one another.

This is not a fight you break up with your hands. And sending a warning shot isn’t going to help because the deer would probably happily run away if they could.

The question was how to get the deer untangled without harming them.

It turns out the answer lay in a single bullet.

Sgt. Kallweit stood by waiting for the right moment when the deers’ horns were visible and they were trying to pull away from one another.

His goal was not to harm either animal but to shoot off part of their antlers (which many bucks shed anyway) so they could get free.

“The shot was definitely dynamic but it is simply a matter of waiting for a good opportunity when both deer are still, and a safe shot can be made,” the sharpshooting ranger told CTV News.

Wright was nearby recording the scene – and his wife was recording both men AND the deer – and the footage is pretty impressive.

“Scott grabbed his shotgun with some slugs,” said Wright. “Just one shot, the deer got up, took off, it was such a cool scene. I’ve never witnessed that in my life, probably never will. It was a once in a lifetime thing.”

Luckily, it all worked out.

And this wasn’t some last-minute desperate attempt. Officers have used this method in the past when getting close to the animals was not an option.

Ironically, Wright owns a taxidermy business on his property but he was happy to see these two get away alive.

“For them to make it this far and have to die a death like that, we were so happy to see them go, just to see them move on and live another day,” he told CTV.

The video has gone viral for the surgical precision Kallweit exhibited with just one shot. And while it’s all in a day’s work for him, he did keep the broken antler.

As for the deer, they went their separate ways and Wright says he has not seen them return to his property.

Be sure to scroll down below to see the dramatic footage of the shot that saved two deer.

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