What makes whitetail have antlers like this? Will they grow out of it?

Stammster

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May 22, 2020
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Houston, Texas
Here’s a buck I shot last year in Pennsylvania.

An injured rear leg will cause the opposite side antlers to develop slower. An injured front leg will cause the same side antlers to develop slower.
 

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wildwilderness

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What’s your sample size? How long have you been running cameras? My buddy runs a 2000 acre lease in Arkansas and has wierd unbalanced antlers all the time. They don’t grow out of it. Here’s the oldes buck killed on the lease! He had the same configuration for 3 years
 

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Muddyboots

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Funny to add here...sometimes you see a really nice set of antlers on a buck...but one side is slightly off...
Some have attributed this to places the buck likes to bed...maybe against a rock warmed by the sun...maybe it altered the growth of the antler....then again..maybe he forgot to lay with the other side of his head on the pillow....who knows...
So is that why I have more hair on one side than the other? But then again there is a reflector in between!
 

Catskills

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Jun 29, 2018
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USA
I believe the issue is genetics for which there is no short term fix. On my place in the Catskills, we’ve got poor to OK genetics. On the poor side, I’ve killed 61/2 year old bucks that won’t score 115 because of short tines. They will go 275lbs. On the other hand, I’ve got a few bucks that will go in the 130s at that age. The quality of our soils is such we’ll never naturally grow bigger deer. My hope is with diverse food plots, over a generation or two, we might bump that number a bit as Mississippi State testing suggests is possible. My problem is I’m surrounded by neighbors/trespassers with a “if it’s brown it’s down” mentality.
 

caseroj

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Oct 5, 2020
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FL USA
It is "typical" for symmetric and "atypical" for non matching antlers. Some guys are really snobby about their trophies and will never shoot an atypical and even consider them trashy... AKA a management deer that needs to be removed from the gene pool. To each his own.
That's an interesting view point. I was under the impression that atypical deer were more desirable than the typical ones if only because they were less common. I actually don't care as I like them both. A deer is a deer regardless of the symmetry (or lack thereof) of the antlers. I doubt the meat would taste any different between the two. Except for that one story up above about the deer who never dropped his antlers because he accidentally castrated himself. I rather suspect his meat would be much less gamey than the others.
 

TBell

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May 12, 2012
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Texas
Hi all,
We’ve noticed that a lot of nice bucks have one side that doesn’t match the other. It’s this way with multiple deer. Will these deer never grow out of this?
Poor Nutrition, genetics, damaged in velvet. All Are possibilities. If nutrition is good then kill off inferior at three and four years old. Late bloomers a possibility first two years. Just my personal opinion.

There are smarter folks out there.
 

Gcan

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Sep 29, 2017
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It’s simply genetics if he was a much younger deer they might evolve into something a little different but he seems to be a fairly mature dear and I believe he is what he is but I appreciate unusual dear but again it is his genetics I believe and he will always be unique
Sometimes it’s genetics. Sometimes its an injury that year while in velvet. Sometimes the injury to pedicle is lifelong and never gets better. Do not cull these bucks. They have good genes. Just bad luck. If however you see offspring with the father’s bad traits, cull them all if you manage your herd for genetics.
Hi all,
We’ve noticed that a lot of nice bucks have one side that doesn’t match the other. It’s this way with multiple deer. Will these deer never grow out of this?
 

thwatson2

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Nov 4, 2012
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Charleston County, SC
my understanding has been that a one sided rack issue is usually injury related. A 2 sided rack issue is genetic and nutrition based. There are great articles from Texas that followed deer from birth. Such as whether a yearling buck develops multiple points or is he just a spike? There was an article from years ago that followed a ”cow horn“ at age 5 he developed a nice 8 point rack? Like people we can all have issues, some ugly at youth that turn out gorgeous and some start pretty and get ugly. Like earlier stated go to the beach and check out the folks!
 

Dennis234

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Jan 14, 2019
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Location
Texas
Genetics, injury and diet all is what makes up a deer‘s antlers. The ranch I hunt has used a strict management program for years and all of the above make a great deer. Even with strict management it takes a lot to grow a 180” and above native deer we get maybe one or two a year if we are fortunate and believe me the owner puts in a year round job with our help.
 

Mike Matteson

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Jun 26, 2017
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573
I have shot several bucks that have broken horns on them on side or the other. one elk to boot. I must have shot 5 different animals like that. My youngest son seem to be picking up my bad habits too. I have take a lot of deer within about a 40 mile area. Each areas produced somewhat different stile of horns. I have always found that to be interesting.
 

Irish Neil

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Feb 18, 2016
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Dungarvan, CoWaterford Ireland
I would expect it is the same for all deer so for fallow that are mismatched or jjuveniles with mismatched spikes are culled on sight.
Because of the spatulate nature of fallow deer antlers it is possible to see similar antler patterns in areas due to a dominant stag. Hence the necessity to take out mismatched antlers males lest they breed in aberrant traits.
 

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