The rut takes no prisoners.
This time of year is when red deer are on the prowl for their mate, meaning that they’re way more ornery and agressive than usual, and things can get ugly quick if they feel like another male could pose a potential threat to them or their future mate.
And when I say ugly, things can get deadly.
Rafik Lapinski, a Polish photographer, was in the woods on a hunt when he came across a battle to the death between two red deer.
It appears that Lapinski began filming on the back end of the fight, and once he zoomed in, it’s easy to see that one of the deer had already taken out his opponent, and he was either already dead, or soon to be, as it laid on its side while the other deer finished him off.
Towards the end you can even see the younger stags’s tongue hanging out of his mouth, most likely the victim of an antler to the vital organs.
The video footage and pictures are just further proof of how brutal these creatures can be, particularly during the rut when other male deer pose as much larger threats than normal.
All that amped up testosterone… and this is the end result.
Lapinski was also able to capture some wild pictures as well, including one where you can see one of the red deer chasing down the other, with a brutal puncture wound to his side.