What Happened to This Buck’s Legs?

Wild deer face more adversity than we can possibly imagine in their quest to survive throughout the year. Disease, predators, harsh weather, and physical illness are just a few of the odds stacked against them. But have you ever seen anything like this? This buck was literally walking around on bare bone on his back legs.

bone footed buck

This poor buck was literally walking on bone.

This buck had no back hooves. He was walking on boney nubs. Looks pretty painful, huh? The hunter that killed this deer has received his fair share of criticism from animal rights advocates, no doubt, but as ethical hunters, we know this hunter did the right thing in putting down an animal that was in such a pitiful situation.

bone footed buck

Here’s a photo of the buck standing on his boney pegs.

Survival of the fittest is played out in nature every day. Sometimes what we see and experience is breathtaking, while other times it’s simply sad.

What do you think happened to this deer? Comment below, and let us know.

Comments

  1. Dan McCarthy says:

    I read once that blue tongue causes deformation of the hooves. I have never heard or read of them falling off, I would guess this is a birth defect or the animal was entangled in some sort of wire from a fence and pulled itself free, casing to loose the rear hooves. Pretty interesting though, goes to show how tough these animals really are.

    Reply
    • I would have put this deer down also.Let`s put those people in the deer`s place.

      Reply
  2. Karen Albrecht says:

    Possibly ran over by a hay mower when he was a fawn.

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  3. Mark Antley says:

    Caught his hind legs in a fence when jumping it.

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    • Michael Price says:

      Very possible. Was thinking about something similar recently.

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    • He didn’t get his legs in a fence it’s a desease hoof Rot lot deer been getting it all you folks saying it’s from bobwire it’s not gesh pay attention the flesh is mostly healed it hoof rot yes hunter did the right thing then you have blue tongue just as bad

      Reply
      • Toodlyloodlyr says:

        dude chill oml. I read that it was a fence too but I was looking to find the truth. so take a breath man lol

        Reply
  4. Migs Chavez says:

    frost bite

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    • Jeff lobes says:

      Yep frost bite. Took a mule deer who’s ears were half gone from frost bite

      Reply
  5. There was a small buck shot in nh last year that both front legs were broke above the wrists and it was walking on bone just like this hunter shot him to spare him more pain
    Our guess with that one And one above is bounded into a hole or a fence injury

    Reply
  6. Luis Apolinar says:

    I’m sure that he had a disease called foot rot!!
    The name is telling you that it rots away the animals foot
    I have seeing several deer suffer from this and it is very painful it starts when the deer hoof gets infected when mud and dirt makes it in the hoof is a very cummun disease among deer I’m a ranch manager and I have had about 3 does and one buck died from this disease this year alone of course it’s been a very wet year here in Texas and that causes it!! Also there’s an other disease called ehd caused by a fly and it coul probably cause that foot rot too ehd causes the deer joints to be In pain and that’s why you see them limping somethimes!! This diseases are treatable but you got to catch hem early when you see first signs of disease and treat animal whit antibiotics could help of course a wild animal such as white tailed its better to put down in my opinion and not everyone agrees but if you see an animal suffering this much it’s better of dead !! Now if you can catch it and treat doit but there’s still a 50/50 chance he dies anyways I think this deer in the picture most had a very good immune system because any other animal would probably die before getting to this point!! Well that’s my opinion hopefully it helps some of you guys if y’all ever came across any of these symptoms!!

    Reply
  7. Most likely barbed wire fence but since it is nubs it could very well be from a trappers jaws of death trap…deer are one of toughest survivors in a bad situation as they can go into hiding weeks at a time without food as they heal their wounds…

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    • Michael says:

      Dear can easily pull out of a foot hold trap. Get a clue.

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  8. I’ve seen it before, a deer that was hit by a car walking around on front nubs with the bone sticking out just like that and the skin and meat all infected and ground with dirt meaning its been that way for a while. The only right thing to DO is to put it down. A friend of mine also has shot a dear with an arrow through its neck where the skin had started to grow around it. Strong little bastards.

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  9. That is amazing and s testament to the resilience of whitetail deer! The hunter did the respectful and humane thing by harvesting this animal. Great to see stories like this!

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  10. Poor thing i am amazed it was still alive and getting around.

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  11. Ethical Hunters?
    ethical hunters look to kill the weak and the sick much like Darwin’s evolution theory.
    You promote the killing of the biggest, fittest animals because of your desire to hang a set of antlers up on a wall, hence your repeated statements of a “trophy” animal
    The largest animals should be allowed to live & pass on their genetics – there’s a reason they are so big, strong & diminant
    while, no doubt, you kill animals and use every part of the animal which we have a moral obligation to do, your statement of “Ethical hunting” is wrong

    Reply
    • Jaide Evans says:

      You are correct. However, the people whom are saying ethical hunting are referring to the people who put down the sick and injured animals to end their misery and suffering. It is true that killing the largest and strongest animals does decrease the chance of having them in the future, but you still have to realize that some people depend on this factor to survive. I have mixed feeling about your comment, and thought that you should be a little more open minded about hunting animals, as the current white tail (and white tail deer alone) population is over 15,000,000
      Good day!

      Reply
    • Allen Webster says:

      Very poor reply…animals cant go seek medical attention like a human can they have to suffer thru the pain of any injury it was the right thing to take the deer due to the suffering …it has nothing to due with the size of his rack or any other deers rack theres a hunting to harvest deer if there wasnt animals would become so plentyful there would alot of issues such as disease which inturn could effect livestock which we eat correct …it was the right thing to do put yourself in the deers pisition think about it really hard and then state an answer have a good day

      Reply
  12. Colt Sell says:

    I think getting hung up in a fence is the most likely scenario. Probably happened recently, not as a fawn. If you look at the close up picture it appears to be right at the joint, also there is still raw flesh exposed. Plus had this buck been hobbling around on bare bone for very long there would be more wear and tear on the ends. He’s lucky to have made it so long to be harvested by a hunter and not taken down by coyotes.

    Reply
  13. Ethical hunters are those who never take a shot unless sure it’s a kill shot. They don’t look to maul or injure but with respect and gratitude feed their families. Many would die if not not thinned out and it has nothing to do with trophy for the majority.
    It’s not like shooting fish in a barrel they are hard to find and rare to kill. We honor their lives during harvest. Don’t judge unless you are willing to be judged.

    Reply
  14. Wouldn’t another predator have gotten that deer earlier than the human hunter did if there were more of them (predators) ? I’m an animal right activist but believe in hunting and definatly preventing suffering if need be… thats something for other animal lovers to think about- maybe it would have not suffered at all if humans hadn’t been eradicating wolves and bears for the last few centuries. That’s my two cents thanks for the new disturbing thing to think about this morning

    Reply
    • So, I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t consider a non-suffering way of dieing being eaten by a predator. I would prefer a bullet or arrow anytime.

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  15. sambone says:

    without a doubt the elusive tree frog is the culprit… I’ve documented this on 2 occasions in the last 3 years. what

    Reply
  16. Sam Barnett says:

    This is a remarkable pathology! Is there any indication of how long this animal was walking on those bare bones? How much wear and tear is evident on the surface that made contact with the ground? Are there any good close-up photos of this?

    Reply
  17. Requardless of what happened makes you realize how dedicated these animals are to survive. As humans we would just fuss and run to hospital for the pettest things. What devotion of survival this buck had.

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  18. Justin Allen says:

    Yea… “putting an animal out of its misery” excuse again… If the animal needed your help hed seek you out. Funny how they try to get away even though – they REALY want your help…

    Reply
  19. Glad the poor thing isn’t suffering anymore… that is just wild to see!! Amazing it was walking first of all, but perhaps hoof rot may be the culprit… but frost bite seems feasible

    Reply
  20. Haylee says:

    It looks most likely like a barb wire injury judging by the scarring on the right leg extending upwards. I’m assuming the legs were badly managled and the deer started degloving itself to make for a cleaner wound, possibly deterring other predators as much as possible. Some of that tissue looks possibly neurotic, but not nearly as much if suspecting this was caused all by hoof rot. Not saying it isnt from a trap either, but if it was pretty odd the back lega only got the trap and not the front. The back legs could easily be from jumping a fence.

    Reply

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