Well, after all of these years it has finally happened. Just two short weeks ago, I wrote a blog entry stating that our old monster buck Broad Beams was still the king of our woods. For years he has ruled this land with unwavering confidence, maintaining his top position one battle at a time. Wounds now cover his body from the rut fighting of recent weeks. He looks tired. He looks old. He looks sore. Indeed Father Time has finally worn him down.
There is a new kid on the block. Strong, stocky and in his prime, he has come here with great purpose. Many big, strong bucks have come and gone, all trying to achieve the same thing. Until now, none have been successful.
The one thing about nature that is constant is change. It is the way things work out to keep bloodlines varied and animals healthy. In strides our new patriarch, “Shark”. How he got his name is a long story. How he achieved his new position as top buck is not. It is quite simple really. He won the battle between two great titans.
(Below) Shark boldly struts about. We can’t be sure if he will stay in the area after the rut is over. But for now, he is the undisputed king. Because of Broad Beam’s long stay as the top breeding buck here, there is a chance that Shark is one of his sons.
(Below) Broad Beams after loosing his position as the guy on top. Note the horrific injury to his back right leg. This injury is likely the single source of his loss. He can barely stand on this leg now. There is a deep puncture in his chest and his nose leather was torn nearly completely off. Despite this, he is still the second ranking buck around here. Everyone scatters when he arrives, everyone that is except for Shark. It is so very strange now after all of these years, to see Broad Beams defer to another buck.
(Below) Broad Beams in his prime, cocky, confident and sporting a rack the width of a Volkswagen. No one messed with him in those days.
(Below) BIG BUCK CENTRAL: Shark (front), Mohawk (center) and Broad Beams (farthest). Bucks are very social with each other as long as an estrus doe is not in the area. Once the rut is over, these guys will buddy up together and will even occasionally groom one another. But this is a “BOYS club”….NO girls allowed!
(Below) A doe approaches Mohawk from behind. He looks somewhat annoyed. Moments later he chased her away. When does are not in estrus, bucks don’t tolerate them. “Three”, a young eight point watches from the right. He has a lot of growing to do before he is in contention for the girls.