According to the SunHerald, Matt Kelley and his fellow hunters in Alabama believed that had bagged a nice eight-point buck, all the way until they got to the skinning rack.
That’s when they noticed a certain body part was missing, if ya know what I’m talking about….
They realized that they had just harvested a rare doe with a rack of antlers, and was confirmed by the Alabama Department of Conservation.
Chris Cook, the coordinator for the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division’s Deer Program, weighed in on the super rare occurrence:
“I’ve seen a few over the years that looked like does externally that had antlers, but it’s not physically possible to do that and be fully functional does. I’ll get reports about a few each year in Alabama.
The ones I usually hear about are the ones with fully developed antlers but are still covered in velvet. They have enough testosterone to start the antler growth but not enough to complete the cycle.”
Kelley said the first time they noticed something was strange about this deer, was when they saw how skinny its neck was.
However, the deer isn’t a full doe, but also not a buck, and it’s a natural phenomenon called a pseudohermaphrodite.
Cook explained the strange phenomenon:
“A deer like this with hardened antlers will have testes inside the body cavity. They don’t have fully developed male or female organs.
They may have external female organs, but they would have to have underdeveloped testes that were still large enough to produce enough testosterone to have that antler growth.”
Cook noted that true does with functioning reproductive organs and antlers make up 0.1% of the deer population.
Kelley, who was on a hunting fundraiser trip for his religious organization Equip Ministry, said the deer weighed 175 pounds and had eight points.