A fellow sent this photo and wondered if it was BS or legit. Well, this is either a hoax (tine stuck on deer’s nose) or a unicorn. How common or rare is a unicorn buck? Is it possible a tine could grow out of the buck’s forehead?
Short answer, yes, tines can and do grow there. Mickey Hellickson, one of the top whitetail scientists in the world, says:
It is caused by trauma to the frontal bone. This entire region of the skull is capable of growing antler, and if an area of the frontal bone is injured (such as a tine puncture from another buck) the trauma may cause an antler to grow from the injury. Interestingly, researchers have even experimentally caused antlers to grow from the frontal bone by grafting antler tissue to this area.
How rare is a unicorn buck? Mick says of his Texas study days: We never captured one in the wild despite capturing more than 4,000 different antlered bucks, so a unicorn is at least as rare as one in 4,000!
I assume that you, like me, have never seen or shot a uni, but if you have by all means tell us about it.