From Matthew in Kansas, who sends us lots of cool stuff (thanks man!):
Three years ago I found the left shed of a buck I called “10-10.” The shed had a pretty good chunk of skull plate attached to the back edge. Fast forward to last season. I shot the buck with a rifle and took him to (a guy) to cape him for me.
As he was caping, his knife poked into the skull behind the left beam. Once we cut the skull cap off the head, there was a mass of soft connective tissue and puss in the brain cavity . There was some puss on the outside of the skull too. Once the mass was removed, I could stick the knife clean through a hole (below) in the skull that measured about 1/4 x 1/8 inch. Due to the color difference in the bone surrounding the hole, I believe it had been larger at one time, but had filled in some.
It looks to me like the hole was caused by the chunk of skull pulled off during shedding. Whether it was the antler with the attached piece of skull I have from 3 years ago, or if another larger piece of skull got pulled off last year (didn’t find that shed) I don’t know.
Either way, there’s been a hole through that skull for either one or two years with an infection (in the brain cavity). Thought I’d share since I’ve never heard of a deer living that long with a hole in its skull.