The expression "locking horns" is well established in our vocabulary, and occasionally we see how it originated.

In the Buffalo River country a few days back, Allyn Ladd, who had an elk hunting permit, and his team of helpers drove back to camp at Woolum on the river after another session of scouting for elk. The hunt was to start two mornings later.

A fellow with another camping group flagged down the Ladd crew. "Can you shoot a deer for us" ?

Strange request, Ladd thought, then the man quickly explained.

Two buck deer had their horns locked from an apparent battle and could not get lose. One of the deer appeared dead. Ladd shot the other deer. Several in the group tried to work the horns apart.

They couldn’t. They tried and tried and could not separate the two deer.

The deer that had been alive was dressed out, the meat divided, then the two sets of horns were removed – still locked. More attempts at separating them took place, again without success.

And to answer a probable question, Ladd checked the deer he shot. A wildlife officer told Ladd the other dead was already dead, checking not required.


Here is an answer to a related question that is frequently asked.

A motorist who hits and kills a deer can keep the carcass and dress out the meat for personal use if desired. A call should be made to a local wildlife officer. But keeping such a deer does not go toward the motorist’s season deer limit if he or she is a hunter. No tag from a license is required.

It’s getting to be the time of year when drivers at sundown and after dark need to be alert for deer crossing roads.


Also some advice to deer hunters is to watch where they step.

We will keep the names of these two bowhunters secret in this recounting. Let’s just call them Seth and Blake.

They headed out to their selected stands. Seth was wearing boots. Blake had on low-cut athletic shoes. Seth’s stand was high and dry, but Blake could see mud and water en route to where he wanted to hunt.

"Hey Seth, let’s swap boots and shoes so I can get through that mud."

Seth agreed and pulled off his boots then took Blake’s shoes. This was before Seth noticed that he was standing on a fire ant mound. Seth quickly had the boots to Blake, who slipped them on and headed to his chosen spot.

Then Seth heard "ow, oh, ow, oh."

Blake was under attacked on his lower legs by fire ants.

Anyone who has run into those little pesky things knows why they call ‘em fire ants.


Reports of army worm destruction of grass and vegetation are coming in from all over Arkansas. The assaults are spotty, meaning here and there, but where army worms hit, the green growths are usually wiped out.

This has occurred on food plots and wildlife plantings on both public and private land.

The overall effect on deer probably will not be significant, according to wildlife biologists with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. "Deer are highly adaptable," one commented. "They will find other things to eat."

The effect upon deer hunters? Deer will move — perhaps from field edges into woods where the acorns are.


Joe Mosby is the retired news editor of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Arkansas’ best known outdoor writer. His work is distributed by the Arkansas News Bureau in Little Rock. He can be reached by e-mail at