They Thought They Killed A Eight Point Buck, Then They Looked…

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It is not often that a hunter gets a chance to take an 8-point buck, so when a group of Alabama hunters got the rare opportunity, they were pretty excited.

But, according to a report, when they got the deer with the big rack back home and started cleaning it, they were startled. Turns out, what they bagged was something far rarer than an 8-point buck. It was an 8-point doe. Kind of.

Matt Kelley and his group of hunters in Alabama were hoisting what they thought was an 8-point buck they had killed up onto the skinning rack when they noticed that something was missing. The deer had a full rack of solid antlers but no male reproductive parts.

Thankfully, Kelley and the others contacted the Alabama Department of Conservation to report the bizarre animal and learn more about their unlikely discovery.

Chris Cook, the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division’s deer program coordinator, said the deer was what wildlife biologists call a pseudohermaphrodite.

“I’ve seen a few over the years that looked like does externally that had antlers,” Cook said in the department report. “But it’s not physically possible to do that, and be fully functional does. I’ll get reports about a few each year in Alabama. The ones I usually hear about are the ones with fully developed antlers but are still covered in velvet. They have enough testosterone to start the antler growth but not enough to complete the cycle.”

Kelley described the moment when he and his cronies noticed the missing testes.

“Then the guy who shot it was starting to skin it and said, ‘Boys, this is a doe,’” Kelley told officials.

“What was more crazy was the guy who shot it said the deer was actually not chasing a doe but walking behind it. The doe urinated, and this deer lip-curled just like a buck would. The landowner has had this land all his life, and they’ve never killed one like it his whole life. It’s a significant rack for a buck. If you looked at it, you would say this one was a shooter.”

Cook said such deer don’t have fully developed male or female organs. Such deer are neither a doe nor a buck either. It’s very unusual for a functioning female to have antlers like that.

The percentage of true does with antlers is only about 0.1% of the population. These are fully functional females but have small, velvet-covered antlers, not fully developed, hardened antlers. According to Cook, it does produce a small amount of testosterone from their ovaries but not enough to produce hardened antlers.

“A deer like this with hardened antlers will have testes inside the body cavity,” Cook said in the report. “They don’t have fully developed male or female organs. They may have external female organs, but they would have to have underdeveloped testes that were still large enough to produce enough testosterone to have that antler growth.”

Source: AWM

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