One of our readers, Jim Ross, shared this question regarding non-typical whitetails and a deer he recently harvested. Jim writes…..”Notice the “switch-blade” drop tines on his right side. Also note his very normal left side. My understanding has always been, that if a buck was injured on his right side (say for example, got nicked in the hind-quarter by a car, but lived), then his opposite side antler (left) might be deformed in the future.”
Does this deer have a “hidden” injury causing it’s abnormal antler formation?
“When I processed the deer, I noticed his right hind-quarter did NOT have a traditional “ball & socket”. The socket was “somewhat” there, but it was kind of deformed, and there was NO traditional ball seated anywhere near the socket. So my guess is he had the right hind-quarter injured some time in his life, or perhaps it was just a genetic thing from birth. Anyway, it was peculiar to me that his SAME SIDE antler turned out non-typical. Again, I thought it was just the opposite. My son, who is an Orthopedic Surgeon, suggested that it may have had “Hip Dysplasia”; much like certain breeds of dogs get. I just wonder if there is a correlation between genetic defects and antler growth.
If you have any theories about what might have caused this buck to grow a non-typical set of antlers on the same side as an apparent injury please let us know. Our thoughts are that perhaps the buck may have an injury on the LEFT side that was unnoticed, or perhaps it is just one of those instances when a whitetail breaks all of the rules…..which they so often do.