We see a number of strange bucks every hunting season. From “cactus bucks” with velvet wrapped completely around its antlers, to red stags wandering through Alabama, a buck with an arrow through its head, and even bucks with Christmas lights and trail cameras tangled in its antlers.
This is a first.
According to Field & Stream,Jay Kehrer was hunting on a plot of 40 acre land in Hamilton County, Illinois, right by a small town called Dale.
This fall, they began to spot a strange looking whitetail through their trail camera.
Kehrer told the outlet:
“We were getting trail cam pictures of a deer that looked like it had reddish color fur. We use Spypoint cell cams because we live about 100 miles away from where we hunt. It looked red in the sunlight and then in the shade, it would look chocolate.
We had no idea what it was when we first saw it. We actually thought it was melanistic and called it ‘Hershey.’”
Kehrer contemplated even hunting the buck at all because it was rather young, but he was concerned another hunter would go after it, considering its odd appearance.
At the beginning of Illinois’ second gun season on December 1st, that’s when he considered bagging the buck:
“On opening night, all of a sudden, my son and I look out in the field and it was that red-colored deer. We were like ‘Oh my gosh, there it is!’”
Still unclear what they had on their hands, besides it being an unusual buck, Kehrer asked his son Lucas if he wanted to take a shot at the buck, but he said he was looking for a bigger deer.
That’s when Kehrer decided to take the shot himself, and was successful.
That’s when they knew they had something crazy on their hands:
“We walk up on the deer, and we’re like, ‘what are we looking at, here?’ It was not what we were expecting at all… I was never thinking it was a naked deer. I just thought it had cool-colored fur.
It seemed like a healthy deer. We know some game wardens and called the local captain of the area. He had one of his deputies come to look at it. He contacted a state biologist.
The biologist said there was nothing wrong with it except that the fur was gone, and that the meat is safe to eat.”
They weren’t sure why the deer was hairless, but Kehrer was pretty certain it didn’t have mange, a disease that causes patchy skin and visible sores. Lice can also cause deer to lose hair and so can something commonly known as “rain rot,” but completely bald?
This deer looked like it was completely shaved, except for a few areas… scent glands, pubic areas, and tips of it’s ears.
Of course, the number one concern for any hunter is… can I eat it? And according to his local butcher, the meat looked perfectly fine. Very lean since it didn’t have much fur to keep it warm, but nevertheless, completely fine.
“We took it to our local butcher shop. They do hundreds of deer every year and said it seemed perfectly healthy.”