Osakis’ Joachim Wiener was on his way to a Vikingland Builders Association meeting in Alexandria before 6 a.m. on Oct. 10, but he didn’t even make it down his driveway.
That’s because he came upon a scene that most will never see other than through a video on the internet. Wiener, who lives near Little Sauk and owns J. Wiener Construction with his brother, Jacob, noticed on the edge of his headlights two big whitetail bucks fighting just off his driveway. It was the first real cold morning of the fall, with temperatures near 30 degrees.
“Our driveway is pretty long – about a quarter mile long, and it gets out of the yard and there is a hay field on the one side and grass on the other side,” Wiener said. “I thought they were just fighting, so I backed up and they’re still there. That’s when I saw they were locked together. I went home and got a flashlight and said, ‘I’m going to watch this.’ ”
Wiener shot video and sent out a text. His employee, Dominic Ruegemer, responded and came out to the field as well. They spent about half an hour watching and discussing the best way to try to break them free. The most common approach is to attempt to shoot the antlers off.
One buck, an eight pointer, wasn’t moving from the time Wiener came upon them. The bigger one, what Wiener believes is about a 12 pointer based on the encounter and pictures he has on his trail camera, was dragging the other around, thrashing in an attempt to unlock their horns. They finally were able to break themselves free a little before 7 a.m. The bigger buck walked off, while the other didn’t move.
“At first when they got loose, I kind of pushed on his rear end and he got up and went about 10 feet and laid down again,” Wiener said. “I thought, ‘Well, he’s pretty tuckered out. I’ll just let him be.’ ”
Wiener returned about four hours later to find the buck hadn’t moved.
“He wouldn’t hardly lift his head,” Wiener said. “He wasn’t going to make it.”
Wiener had gotten a tag through the sheriff and then the Department of Natural Resources to put the deer down so he could process the meat himself. Ruegemer, who also does taxidermy work, is making a European mount of the antlers.
Wiener hunts whitetails during the shotgun and muzzleloader season in Minnesota. He said the area this took place has some nice bucks around each year, so he wasn’t surprised that there would be this kind of competition among the bigger deer. Seeing it himself, though, was something he never expected.
“Probably a once in a lifetime experience,” Wiener said. “Something I’ll hopefully see again but likely never. It happens probably more than a guy thinks it does, but right next to your driveway that you’ll be able to see it, it was pretty cool. I hope I can keep those videos for a long time.”
To see the video, go the the link here.