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Very unusual non typical antler growth

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by gamestalker, Nov 18, 2011.

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  1. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Yesterday one of my Son's killed a mule deer that had a very deformed antler. The deer was a spike, and it had two very unusual things going on. First of all it was still in full velvet, which is something I've never seen this time of year in the 40 + years of hunting. But the most shocking thing was the non typical antler that was pressed hard against his head and followed all the way around and under his jaw. I've seen some pictures simular to this one before, but not pressed hard against his head and jaw. I'm betting this little spike was having a very tough time surviving because he could barely open his mouth, and his skull had a depression where the antler was pushing into it. I would doubt he would have survived another year, and especially once his rack got bigger.

    A good friend of mine came back from a Wyoming antelope hunt some years back. He had taken pictures of a dozen or so mounts the rancher had of some mule deer and antelope with very non typical, non typical racks. One of the very large antelope had a horn that had grown across his mouth in such a way it almost completely covered his mouth. He almost had no hair on one side of his face, because he had to lay his head side ways to the ground to eat. And a mule deer with a rack that looked like a tumble weed. I'm guessing it probably had 70 or 80 pencile like branches.

    I've always wondered what causes such strange antler growth, and I've heard it can sometimes be caused by an injury when they are starting to get their first growth? A G&F biologist also said genetics play a big part in it too.
     
  2. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    Got a picture? It'd be interesting and possibly informative to see.
     
  3. 25cschaefer

    25cschaefer Member

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    Maybe some hormones at play as well, in Teton at the elk range years ago they had a massive bull that was in velvet in January. Its body was huge, they said because the cows were never in heat when he was ready so he just ate through the rut.
     
  4. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    welcome to my world!
     
  5. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Typically when a bucks antlers never go out of velvet it is a hormonal thing. Generally damage to or undeveloped testes. Non-typical racks can be because of genes and/or damage or illness.
     
  6. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    It could be genes, hormones, etc., or it could be damage from a shot to the head that happened to ricochet and disturb the base of the antler. When you figure how many hunters are out there and how many deer are shot-at, which get away, anything is possible!

    It could have even broken the base of the spike if he was hit a certain way by a motor vehicle!
     
  7. interlock

    interlock Member

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    european roe bucks that have damaged testes very often develope what is know as perruques. Some european stalkers pay a real premium to stalk these animals. To be honest we should shoot them on sight because the head will get infected and flyblown really easily

    [​IMG]
     
  8. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    Man, that picture is gruesome! That condition appears to be extremely PAINFUL to the buck, I can only imagine having open sores like that on the top of my head!
     
  9. TexAg

    TexAg Member

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    I shot a buck in velvet in mid-November here in Texas. I actually didn't even know it was in velvet until I walked up on it due to distance and lighting.
    I've heard (and verified at least once) that if the buck has an injury on one side of the body, the opposite side horn will be deformed. We found an old dislocation of a leg joint on a buck, and his opposite side horn was deformed.
     
  10. ricebasher302

    ricebasher302 Member

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    A "stag" buck, or a buck lacking his "important parts" will often present very abnormal and/or stunted antler growth and will sometimes neglect to clean velvet. I've seen this personally in mule deer.
     
  11. UpTheIrons

    UpTheIrons Member

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    This is true. My dad shot a buck a number of years ago with the same issue, only the leg was broken at one point, not just dislocated.

    On the other hand, I had a buck last year that had broken his front right leg (humerus) at some point (even noticed him limping before I shot), but his antlers were fine.
     
  12. langenc

    langenc Member

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    I'm betting this little spike was having a very tough time surviving because he could barely open his mouth, and his skull had a depression where the antler was pushing into it. I would doubt he would have survived another year, and especially once his rack got bigger. From original post..

    Dont mulies drop their antlers?? Why would those antlers gotten bigger. They would/should be falling off in couple months.
     
  13. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

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    Weirdos!
     
  14. interlock

    interlock Member

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    yes, i agree, i think they should just be shot on sight as the most humane way to go
     
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