What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

not sure what this is..
Hello…
I don’t know anything about bugs, but this huge thing greeted me on my deck railing last week, near Richmond, VA. It was close to 2 inches long and didn’t move when I approached to take the pictures. Unfortunately, the pictures are a little fuzzy, as I was handholding the camera.
Any ideas? I’ve never seen anything like this before.
Guy

Hello Guy,
What an impressive Male Stag Beetle, Lucanus elaphus, you have. We have gotten photos of Stag Beetles in the past, but always from the genus Pseudolucanus. Your specimen has impressive mandibles. These beetles occur in the South. They are usually found around the stumps of oak trees, but they do fly and are attracted to lights. Females which have smaller jaws, are reported to be very rare.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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