By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

RIGA -- Just as Gary Parks was giving directions to the scene of two bucks locked together in a struggle of death, the one animal remaining alive sprang loose.

"They came apart," Parks said as he and others watched as the lone surviving buck used his last bit of energy to get away from another buck. "They came apart."

Game wardens had just returned to the scene after going to their trucks to get cameras and tools necessary to try to break the two apart. The incident occurred about 10 days ago in northern Trego County.

Although uncommon, it's not unheard of for two deer to hook their horns together as they spar over females at the height of the mating season.

"Looks like the big one broke its neck," Parks said of the one deer that had lost its life after becoming entangled in the fight with another buck.

The fighting deer had attracted a crowd of onlookers, and Parks was among them as he went to check on ground he owns on the Trego-Graham county line.

"I don't know when they started fighting," he said.

Game warden Jake Brook had just headed back to the scene of the fighting bucks with a camera when the animals came apart.

"We didn't have to lose the other one," Brooks said.