Our friend Danny from Maryland sent this picture and asked this question:
Is there any chance this deer’s antlers will eventually even out? Or will he most likely always have an uneven rack based off his genes? He doesn’t appear to have suffered any injury to cause this.
The vast majority of whitetail bucks grow even or largely symmetrical and typical antlers. Although the buck in this picture may not appear hurt now, there is a strong likelihood that he sustained some injury earlier this year.
“I think the buck in the picture was injured,” says QDMA biologist Kip Adams. “His left antler looks normal, just minus a brow tine. His right antler has a good-sized brow and then 3 stubby points, which are very common from an injury. I’m guessing the injury was to his antler but it could have been to the body.”
Kips notes that the pedicle, or base, of the weak side antler looks fine “so I’m guessing the injury was to his antler, and that suggests if he survives to next year he will not carry the injury with him. He’ll be easy to follow this fall with his unique rack. Good luck in the woods.–Kip
Although I agree with Kip when it comes to this particular buck, I’ve also heard that the side opposite the one a buck prefers bedding on can possibly grow shorter due to circulation issues during antler growth. While the person who shared this with me is a viable source, he isn’t a biologist. I cannot confirm that this circulation theory is true, or not. But, it seems to have at least some merit to it.