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Thread started 18 Jan 2015 (Sunday) 00:02
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Big Whitetail Buck - 2013 antlers vs. 2014 antlers

 
Tom ­ Reichner
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Jan 18, 2015 00:02 |  #1

There's a buck I've photographed since he was a ""teenager" back in 2011. Last year (November 2013) he had finally grown into a real nice, fully mature buck with a nice big rack. His rack had one abnormality; a three-pronged tine extending forward from the base of his right antler. We started calling him the "Caribou Buck" because of the way this growth was similar to the shovels on a caribou's rack. Here he is in November 2013:


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Anyway, I was really hoping he would still be alive for this past year's rut (November 2014) . . . I couldn't wait to see how his rack would look this year! Would he again have the caribou-like extension coming out of the antler base? Would he have a matching extension coming out of the left antler? Would his rack be even larger and heavier than it was last November?

Well, I did see him again this November. He was an even more dominant buck than he was in 2013, and all other bucks deferred to him - he had his choice of the does. But, I was quite disappointed when I saw his rack. The right antler was completely deformed . . . nothing broke off - it had only grown about a foot long, and had a weird, plasticky "melted" look to it (although the brow tine was normal). The left antler was simply huge! It was super tall, with a main beam that had a long upward sweep on the end. If only his right side would have matched! Ironically, he provided lots of opportunities to photograph him . . . of course, he never did that with an in-tact rack!


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Oh, well.....until November '15 rolls around, there will be thoughts of what could have been . . . and of course I am eagerly awaiting the next rut, when I hope to find him with a presentable-looking, symmetrical rack that's just as big!

.

"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Hillbillygirl
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Jan 18, 2015 04:03 |  #2

Both very nice captures, and love the rack comparisons.
Could have messed that last rack up pretty bad while still in velvet, may be the answer.




  
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blackchrome
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Jan 18, 2015 07:04 |  #3

Tom, great captures and documenting this buck. I can relate with a monster bull elk non-typical I have photographed for 2yrs. This year would be his last as strange as fate would have it while I was photographing him and 12 other bull two hunters one with a tag accidently harvested him by missing the elk he was aiming for. :oops:


With that said I document a lot of animals for the fish and game here. And over the years have learned a thing or two on the antler growth.
It would be one of 3 things. Injury mentioned during early development. Or a body injury can effect the growth as well. Or genetics, If it was genetics it would be basically the same effect every year minus the antlers continue to grow larger. In this case I would rule that out.

If you noticed him acting and behaving fine I would tend to believe he had a traumatic experience early or in mid growth that had this outcome. I have killed a few animals that had major broken bones and they all tended two have issues with antler growth on the opposite side of their body. Last year I took a bull that had a fused lower ankle, his hoof on that foot was really unique one hoof was 9" and the other 8" double what it should of been and the antler on one side grew stunted. This photo doesn't show it real well but one side is considerably smaller, Hope this helps maybe a little.


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Pondrader
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Jan 18, 2015 08:03 |  #4

Great story and buck Tom, I wonder how many of us hang out in the bush tracking the where abouts and habits of some of the animals in our back yards.


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philk54
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Jan 18, 2015 08:11 |  #5

Very informative, Tom and Stacy. Thank you both for sharing your knowledge, and your photos. I see his ear is scarred on the same side. Wonder if he may have had some serious trauma on that side as a youngster and permanently damaged growth plates (or whatever you call them - I'm no biologist).


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Jan 20, 2015 23:18 |  #6

philk54 wrote in post #17387958 (external link)
I see his ear is scarred on the same side. Wonder if he may have had some serious trauma on that side as a youngster and permanently damaged growth plates (or whatever you call them - I'm no biologist).

Actually, quite a few bucks have torn ears - it's from fighting other bucks. In this buck's case, I think we can rule out a traumatic injury in his youth, as I have photographed him since 2011 (when he was 3 1/2 years old), and neither side of his antlers had any abnormalities in either 2011 or 2012. However, it is very possible that he had an injury to the left side of his body this year during the summer when his antlers were forming. As Stacy said, an injury to one side of the body can lead to abnormal growth on the opposite side's antler. In any case, I sure do hope that he survives the winter, and that he remains healthy throughout the antler-growing season this coming summer.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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KayakPhotos
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Jan 21, 2015 06:30 |  #7

Very informative thread. I used to hunt in my younger days and always found it exciting to follow the same buck for several years. It's not always easy getting close, especially more than once. Nice job.


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Bonecollector
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Feb 07, 2015 10:27 |  #8

Tom... have you ever shed hunted while you were photographing?

You can make some good ca$h, or save them for your self.

If you don't know what it is (I expect you do) It's when the deer sheds it's antlers (Every year, it varies depending on where you live in the country) you go out and find them lying on the ground... you can get up to over $100.00 per antler, or save them because they look pretty cool. They use them to make knife handles, lamps, chandeliers etc. If you don't, start keeping your eyes out. Just try to get to them before the squirrels, and mice!
BC


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Feb 07, 2015 10:40 as a reply to  @ Bonecollector's post |  #9

Yes, I've come across a lot of sheds while photographing. Not just deer antlers, but elk antlers, too! If they are big, and in good shape, I keep them, where legal. But out here they're a dime a dozen. Seems that just about everybody that spends time outside has a bunch of good sheds that they've found. There used to be a good market for them, but nowadays I look at whitetail racks on ebay, and cannot believe how cheap a great rack sells for.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Bonecollector
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Feb 07, 2015 10:49 as a reply to  @ Tom Reichner's post |  #10

There is a site foe selling the racks... I'm not sure what it is... but you could google it. I haven't been on it for a long time.

Save them though, and if they are ever in high demand, maybe you can buy a new camera;-)a


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Big Whitetail Buck - 2013 antlers vs. 2014 antlers
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