Incredible video, uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday, reportedly shows an Illinois officer using his service weapon to shoot apart the antlers of two bucks who had become extremely tangled during a fight.
The bucks can be seen writhing and struggling to get free, but their efforts are fruitless. A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources told The Daily Mail that the bucks likely would have died if they were unable to free themselves.
"He's worn out, he's going to give you a shot," one officer tells the one wielding his weapon. An Illinois conservation police officer, a state trooper and a Will County Forest Preserve officer all responded to the scene.
"Take it if you can," one officer can be heard saying, before he fires the first shot. Shockingly, the video shows deer don''t seem too frightened by the sound of the gunshot and only flinch slightly. Standing feet from the two bucks, the officer takes four shots to break the antler. Once freed, the two deer jump up and sprint away.
"Good shot, good job," an officer says.
More from The Daily Mail:
The officers discuss potentially having to put the animal down due to possible injuries during the scuffle though no update on its condition was provided.
"Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources law enforcement officers are periodically alerted to these types of instances. While not common, it happens," the department said in an email to MailOnline.
"Fights among male deer are common and occasionally their antlers become entangled. Sometimes the deer are able to free themselves…sometimes not, and in those instances we have found deer which become locked together and perish before someone comes along to find and possibly free them."
Reaction to the video posted by the department's Facebook page is varied with some crying animal abuse and others praising the sharp shooting that potentially spared both animals' their lives.
Watch the video of the rescue below:
All screengrabs from The Daily Mail