Jesse T. sent this picture of the velvet buck he shot during the 2014 rifle season on a small farm in northern Missouri. “I have both sheds from the previous year and haven’t a clue why he never shed in 2014,” Jesse said. “The buck didn’t get injured, but his testicles were pea sized.”
I have posted often on stag bucks over the years, but this one is different.
According to the QDMA, a birth defect known as cryptorchidism causes a buck to carry velvet antlers beyond the normal velvet-shedding date of late August to early September. In extreme cases both testicles remain in the abdominal cavity and never descend into the scrotum. The normal production of testosterone is diminished, and the antler cycle of hardening, velvet shedding and antler casting is altered. These same results can sometimes be produced in a buck that is born normal but subsequently suffers a testicular injury.
But Jesse’s buck doesn’t seem to fit squarely into either of these categories, since it shed its antlers in 2013 but not in 2014…and since it did not appear to have been injured in the months before Jesse got him.
Some things are hard to explain but fascinating in the world of BIG DEER.