I shot this super-cool buck in North Texas, Wheeler County, a few days ago. Two biologists confirmed what I thought: that the non-typical left side of the rack was almost certainly caused by an injury to the buck’s body during the 2023 spring/summer antler-growing season.

Most likely the buck injured one of his right legs. In what scientists call the “contralateral effect,” an injury to one side of the body often causes an antler deformity on the opposite side of the rack. Penn State biologists say the reasons for this are unknown. Exactly how the opposite-side antler will be altered from its original size or shape is anyone’s guess.

In any event, I am extremely happy with this mature, funky buck, which will appear on a 2024 episode of BIG DEER TV on Sportsman Channel. What a cool skull mount that rack will make!