Washington County hunter finds locked bucks
Hubertus, Wis. — A Washington County man went turkey hunting Nov. 10 and came home with two trophy bucks he found locked together.
Keith Streich, of Hubertus, saw eight turkeys in a field as he was returning from a morning bowhunt Nov. 9. He decided to go after the turkeys the next morning. His son, Jeremy, decided to go along, but would hunt deer on a property adjacent to where his dad was hunting turkeys.
Keith Streich didn’t see any turkeys on his hunt. At 8 a.m., he texted his son and they agreed to meet at 8:30 a.m. With a half-hour to kill, the elder Streich decided to walk through a marshy area where he’d seen turkeys in the past. A turkey flushed as he walked, so Streich gave up that strategy and headed back to the road.
As he got close to the road, he saw something unusual.
“On the way out I looked down this deer path,” Keith Streich said. “I saw a round, brown stump in the middle of the deer path.”
He walked closer and realized it was a deer that was thrashing around. His first thought was that it was a sick deer, possibly a deer infected with CWD. Soon he realized it was two bucks locked together, and one of the deer appeared to be dead.
Streich backed off and pulled out his phone.
“Come pick me up now,” he texted his son. “Bring your bow.”
The father and son returned to the locked bucks. Jeremy Streich shot an arrow into the buck that was still struggling, and the men returned to their truck to change clothes. Keith Streich traded turkey camo for deer camo and they returned to the locked bucks.
The buck with the arrow wound was still alive and had dragged the other buck 25 feet down the trail. Another arrow killed that buck. It was 60 degrees, so the hunters quickly got to the task of field dressing the buck shot by Jeremy Streich.
Keith Streich removed one of the arrows and then tried to unlock the bucks. As he worked on this, the buck that originally appeared dead suddenly “came to life” and started thrashing. The elder Streich used the bloody arrow and shot the buck.
After tagging the bucks and resting a bit, the hunters separated the deer and gutted both. Separating the bucks took almost 30 minutes of twisting and prying. Keith Streich said he never thought of taking photos because it was warm and he didn’t want the meat to spoil.
Keith Streich soon realized both bucks would not fit on the cargo carrier of his vehicle, so his son stayed with the deer as his dad went home to get a trailer.
Keith Streich got home and told his wife, Diane, to grab a camera and to come with him. He didn’t tell her the whole story, but eventually she figured out there were two dead deer.
“Really, did you have to shoot two deer?” she asked.
The hunters weighed the bucks at their home. The 11-point that Jeremy Streich shot weighed 177 pounds dressed. Keith’s 8-point weighed 187 pounds. A friend stopped and green-scored the racks. The 8-pointer scored 1573⁄8 before deductions and netted 144. The 11-pointer scored 1613⁄8. It was a natural 12-pointer, but one point was broken off in the fight.
When a taxidermist examined the deer, he noticed scabbed-over wounds on the heads of both bucks. Based on the appearance of the wounds, the taxidermist estimated the bucks had been locked for about three days. Both bucks were aged at 31⁄2 years.
Keith Streich said his buck had a mane on its neck. According to the taxidermist, this occurs in only 1 percent of the bucks he has seen.
The father was happy to find the locked bucks, but was also a little embarrassed.
“I can’t shoot a deer unless they are eight feet away, tired and tied down,” he said good-naturedly. “It’s not the way I wanted to bring down a deer. I really wanted to call or rattle them in. I just walked across these deer.”
The taxidermist will mount the bucks locked together as they were found.
“I feel they belong together,” Keith Streich said. “They fought each other and they died together.”
Keith Streich said for now the mount is his.
“When I die, my boy gets the mount,” he joked. “When he moves out, we might share it back and forth. It’s his as much as mine.”