August 18, 2015 at 8:59 pm #4538
Saturday, September 08, 2012
This morning my wife and I saw what we believed to be a hard antlered spike, however upon closer observation (binos) I saw that this deer wasn’t sporting any “junk in the trunk” so to speak. Therefore much to my surprise i figured it to be a hard horned Doe. Now i know if harvested it must be tagged as a Buck but i have some questions.
1 What can cause this
2 If in fact it was a Doe, do they shed their headgear each year
3 Is it possible for her to give birth
It was a really cool site, the horns were approx. 6 to 8 inches long and polished.
Thanks for your help and has anyone else ever witnessed this?
BoscoAugust 18, 2015 at 9:00 pm #4539
Sunday, September 09, 2012
All females have a small amount of testerone (the male hormone) and all males have some amount of estrogen (the female hormone). When the amounts get out of balance or whack and the female has too much testosterone, she begins to take on male characteristics and vice versa. So, a female deer with antlers has more than normal amounts of testosterone but she is still a female from the inside and out.
Yes, some antlered does will and can breed and raise a fawn IF they are able to get bred. The whitetail world is a very social dominated environment and so things that are abnormal cause panic and concern in their world. A doe with antlers may be a female biologically, but the males may not recognize her as such and so she may or may not get bred. But I have seen antlered does raise fawns successfully.
Most, not all but most, antlered does remain in velvet year around and do not shed the antlers. This is because the antler growing cycle is controlled by testosterone levels throughout the bucks’ body. His levels rise and fall with the seasons and thus his antlers grow and then fall off as needed. Remember, the antlers are a secondary sexual characteristic, meaning he does not NEED them to survive, but only to breed (establish dominance, defend territories, intimidate, etc) for breeding purposes. And when a buck is in hard antler, he has live sperm. When he is in velvet, he is sterile due to low testosterone levels. So a doe with just enough testosterone in her system to grow antlers will likely not have enough ebb and flow to tell her to rub the velvet and/or shed the antlers–so they stay in the velvet stage and just grow as the levels of testosterone dictate.
MacyAugust 18, 2015 at 9:02 pm #4540
Sunday, September 09, 2012
Here is one of the largest antlered does I have ever personally been involved with. Scored in the 170’s gross, McMullen County. 100% female inside and out except for the headgear. This buck was on the cover the North American Whitetail magazine and featured on it’s Muzzy Moments back when it was harvested many years ago.
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