Shelley man makes surprising discovery in a farmer’s field


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Whitetail bucks found in Shelley by Michael Arzola. | Courtesy Michael Arzola

SHELLEY — A local man was trying to get his twin babies to sleep when he came across something he didn’t expect.

While out driving with his children on Tuesday, Michael Arzola noticed a deer out in a field. He stopped and after informing Idaho Fish and Game about what he found, pulled out his binoculars to get a better look and noticed something odd. What he thought was one deer turned out to be two Whitetail bucks that had died locked together in mortal combat.

“I was ecstatic,” Arzola told “I couldn’t believe what I found. There’s been a few stories that have floated around where people have found bucks stuck together like that. To actually come across one — I couldn’t believe it.”

He said Fish and Game gave him a permit to transport and store the bucks. Arzola then filled out a salvage report to be able to keep them.

“It looks like the one, the smaller of the two, might have got his neck broke,” Arzola said. “The bigger one — he ended up dying partly from being stuck. He couldn’t get away. He might have suffocated too.”

Bucks locked together. | Courtesy, Michael Arzola

Gregg Losinski from Idaho Fish and Game said this sort of thing is not uncommon during this time of year.

“Especially deer when they’re in the rut, they’re sparring just for dominance,” Losinski told “To get them locked together — it does happen. It’ll happen with deer, it will happen with elk and even moose.”

Arzola said the two bucks, unofficially, score around 140 range with nine to 10-inch long antler tines.

“I left them locked together,” Arzola said. “They’re pretty stuck. I put a couple straps on them, just to make sure when I was bringing them home because I don’t want them to come apart.”

He said he plans to see a taxidermist about getting them mounted.


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