Video of a Trempealeau County man setting two tangled bucks free gains millions of views

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 6:14 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A video of an Independence man cutting loose two tangled up bucks is going viral with more than 20 million views on social media.

On December 20th, 90-year-old Everett Sluga was on a casual drive and spotted something he’d never seen in person before.

“I got to where we’re standing right now and I thought that I saw a back of a deer,” Sluga said. “I turned around and I couldn’t understand why that deer didn’t move and then I turned around and saw two bucks locked up.”

Two white-tailed bucks had their racks stuck together and could not break free.

Sluga let the owners of the farmland know.

“They were in the creek down here and she actually jumped them up and they got out in the CRP field and I told her right away there was no saving them in the field, we had to get them in the woods, Troy Rebarchek said. “So, we kind of made a little drive and got them in woods, which is where they kind of got locked down, they couldn’t move, which is where we saved their lives.”

Landowners Rebarchek and his wife Tammy are hunters themselves but decided not to harvest the deer even though it was still hunting season.

“I just didn’t feel it was right shooting them in the situation they were in,” Rebarchek said. “It just didn’t feel ethical to me and I actually had my bow on them and I pulled back on them and I looked at Tammy and I said I can’t shoot these deer.”

Instead, Rebarchek grabbed his Milwaukee Grinder out the back of his truck, cutting one antler off each, setting them free.

“It’s the only tool I had in my truck,” Rebarchek said. “It isn’t the right tool for the job, but we didn’t have time. I just feared for both the deer death.”

In the spirit of a fair chase, Jon King, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Hunter Education Administrator and Conservation Warden, praises Rebarchek’s actions.

“This guy allowed them to enjoy a little bit of life and participate in an ethical and responsible way as a hunter,” King said. “So, I’m happy that he did. It’s a good story and good see and hear.”

If he had to do it all over again, Rebarchek says he wouldn’t change a thing.

“I’m a hundred percent positive we made the right decision by saving them rather than shooting them,” Rebarchek said.

Rebarchek says he has since seen the one antlered deer from time to time, and they look healthy.

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