Two Rutting Red Deer Stags Battle It Out In Chest-Deep Water

Bull elk fighting in water
Hanna Barbara Buchała

You gotta love a good rut battle, that’s what those antlers are for anyways, isn’t it?

Red deer are the some of the largest members of the deer family in the world. Often confused with elk, they generally are smaller than elk, although still quite large, and you can always tell the difference by their sound. Red stags will let out a guttural roar where as elk have a higher-pitched bugle.

They are mostly found in Europe, the Caucasus Mountains region, Turkey and parts of western Asia, although some have been introduced to parts of North and South America, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

Regardless of where they are at, these beasts grow large. They can reach up to 500 pounds at most. On top of being large, they are considered to have some of the best game meat in the world, making them a target for many hunters.

They grow massive antlers and shed them annually. The antlers, like all members of the deer family, are used as a status symbol. The largest, healthiest, and most dominant stags usually have the largest antlers.

These antlers are used for more than show, they have full blown battles with them to establish a hierarchy for breeding, with the healthiest and best genes being passed along first.

These stags put a battle on full display for these onlookers in Poland. One stag is seen putting the run to a smaller one, clearly ready to show who is boss. Another large stag is seen as well, and the pair start to go at it.

They are chest deep in the water, with heads down and even underwater at points. When they stop for a breath, they are coated in weeds. They go back at it and have a wild river battle.

What a show… definitely a once in a lifetime memory.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock