Ollin Magnetic Digiscoping System

Gelding Buck?

Brian in Montana

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Ramsay, MT
I got back recently from a mule deer hunt out east with a friend of mine. He shot the weirdest buck I've ever seen. The buck had very tall antlers with good mass, and was standing on the edge of a steep drop into a gully. When Chris shot, the buck tipped right over and out of sight. I had to backtrack briefly and retrieve my backpack (I'd belly-crawled through the snow to get into position), and when I started down, I found Chris moving around picking up pieces of antler. The buck's antlers just went to pieces as he rolled.

Even though it was mid-November he was oddly still in velvet. We examined the antlers, they were spongy, brittle, and bloody on the inside. I could have broken them with just my hands. Anyway, very odd.

IMG20221116123341.jpg
We examined the buck and found he had a ball sack, but as best as we could tell, no testicles. Big-bodied deer, seemed perfectly healthy otherwise. He didn't have that musky, rutty smell like mulies usually have this time of year. As we opened him up and started quartering him, he was just about as full of fat as any deer I've ever seen, obviously not chasing does much.

Interesting thing to see. Ever come across this?

Once back into civilization, we googled and found an article on "hypogonadal bucks" that seemed to describe Chris's buck just about perfectly.
 
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TheGrayRider

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Indiana
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Similar situation - this 2021 Indiana whitetail did not have fallen testicles. At first, I thought it was an antlered doe. Meat was fine. No visible injuries. He was running with two other bucks. Weird.
 

Sytes

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Montana
Wow! Never heard of such. Must have been strange to come across velvet, brittle antlers and no nuts.

Apparently, no interest rubbing trees, sparring other bucks, etc. Interesting reading up on EHD and it's prevalence in the eastern state.

Wanted to learn more from @antlerradar 's comment. Found this HCN article with this map (2013) and a brief quote:

image


"State officials have been reassuring people who have found these carcasses that EHD can’t be transmitted to humans. Montana FWP advises hunters that it’s probably best to avoid a live deer that shows signs of EHD, but also says there is no potential for harm in eating venison from an infected animal."

 

nrpate05

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Interesting. Were his balls intact? I've heard that if their balls don't drop or get injured somehow it can impact antler growth and rutting activity. Cool deer tho.
 

old270hunter

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Bat Sh!+ Crazy, California
Shot one kinda like that in Central Co maybe 20+ years ago on a last day of season shot. Either no huevos, or really tiny ones. Did not inspect further. Lots of fat, and had a pretty heavy body. Was not in velvet, but antlers were more like blade shaped instead. Was a spike, but spikes were pretty tall. Unusually tall, and not wide. I figure based on body he was a 3 year old. Shot him not too far from an apple orchard. Best eater I’ve ever had.
 

BradA

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Jan 23, 2021
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This is interesting. Congratulations on the buck, he looks like he should be walking in a scene of walking dead haha
 

TheTone

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ID
Fairly common in the eastern part of the state. I have heard that EHD will cause this. Bucks like this one are very good on the table.
We had a big ehd outbreak in my part of Idaho last year. I knew of guys picking up fresh mule deer sheds in October and November. This year we have a decent amount of bucks with velvet in the fall. Theory is they had ehd last year and survived but it screwed them up
 

Hunting Wife

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Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
EHD is known to cause retained velvet and abnormal antler growth, shedding, and abnormal hoof growth in deer that survive. It is also thought to cause testicular lesions that could affect testosterone production and lead to signs similar to what you observed. But, to have the testicles not descended or undeveloped sounds more like cryptorchidism to me. I haven’t heard of EHD actually causing that.

Without some serum to test though, it’s hard to say.
 

JDH

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Sep 18, 2013
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Indiana
EHD is known to cause retained velvet and abnormal antler growth, shedding, and abnormal hoof growth in deer that survive. It is also thought to cause testicular lesions that could affect testosterone production and lead to signs similar to what you observed. But, to have the testicles not descended or undeveloped sounds more like cryptorchidism to me. I haven’t heard of EHD actually causing that.

Without some serum to test though, it’s hard to say.
I've seen a few with messed up hooves in my area, it seems to be the most common lasting effect here.
 

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