Slap-battling bucks could really use some boxing lessons

Any outdoors lover knows to keep their wits about them during deer and moose rutting season. During this time, the normally docile males of the species become raging balls of testosterone, locking horns in vicious battles for the right to reproduce. In some tragic cases, they have even gored humans mistaken for competitors.

These matches are mainly feats of strength, locking horns and trying to wrestle each other to the ground. The competition isn’t meant to be fatal, but many a buck have learned the hard way that horns can become permanently locked. The linked deer starve to death, unable to forage properly.

With this sad possible outcome in mind, you’ll be happy to know that this video posted to YouTube by user TheBeejBurrow doesn’t even come close to that level of seriousness. Instead, the two bucks seem intent on engaging in a relatively harmless slap fight, where they rear up on their hind legs to “box.”

This is a regular style of fighting between female whitetails, but somewhat embarrassing for a couple of full-grown males. To be fair, their antlers aren’t fully grown, showing sensitive velvet that will eventually peel away.

But then again, if you’re not ready to fight, maybe stay out of the ring?