Unicorn question

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FishnFed

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Apr 12, 2008
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181
Location
Knoxville, Tennessee
I was sitting in my stand and had a deer sneak in behind me. I looked over my shoulder as he passed by and noticed a beautiful right antler with a perfectly symmetrical 5 points. The deer appeared to be mature, grass belly and rather large. The issue was he was completely bald on the left side. He quartered away at about 30 yards and I let him walk. Is there any way to tell if that is genetics, lost in a fight, hit by a car, etc and will there be an antler there next year? Seems early for them to shed them and if he makes it to next year, he'll be a wallhanger. Thanks to the knowledge base.
 
Snake

Snake

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May 3, 2009
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38,856
Location
McMinn Co.Tennessee U.S.
Re: Unnicorn question

Had almost exact same thing happened n to me quite a few years back . Seen this big ole buck come across a field on the neighboring property and started rubbing a tree his antlers glistening . He headed down the little draw towards the adjoining property so I grunted at him . He responded immediately and began coming my way . Man I'm positioning myself getting ready for the shot . The fence line was old and broken down were they crossed heading towards our lease and the wind was good so everything coming together . As he came down the draw he was broadside but when he was about 50 yards from me he started coming straight towards me . Usually I don't look at the antlers preparing for a shot but something didn't look right . Wow how disappointing one side just had a small nub , other side a perfect five real long tines and this deer was huge even late in the season . I still had to talk myself out of shooting him but I did knowing I wouldn't mount him and it was late in the season hoping he would be around next year . Never seen him again . Hopefully your buck will be back next season .
 
M

Mike Belt

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Mar 26, 1999
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27,375
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Lakeland, Tn.
Re: Unnicorn question

I've probably let an average of 15% of the shooter bucks I've seen walk all because they were missing beams or points and in hopes of seeing them the following year. Some years seem worse than others for them fighting and breaking them off.
 
S

scn

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Feb 5, 2003
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Brentwood, TN US
Re: Unnicorn question

I passed a nice, mature deer two seasons ago that only had one side of his rack. It was high, and looked good. I think the same buck likely was killed on the lease this past Saturday. He still wasn't a huge scoring deer, but he was old with a heavy, high rack. I'm glad I passed him.
 
K

knightrider

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Sep 27, 2010
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tn
Re: Unnicorn question

im not passing any mature deer because he has a busted rack, just not in me lol
 
W

Winchester

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Dec 5, 2003
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29,554
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TN
Re: Unnicorn question

Ive passed several over the years with busted racks myself, just hate to shoot one that could be a perfect trophy for someone next yr. As to the original ? It could have been from many things from, shedding early, broke fighting, hit by car, hung in fence or tree and broke off, etc. Could be a Pedicle injury, could have been shot off, endless really. As to will he grow a normal antler next yr is anybodys guess, depends on what caused it.
 
Headhunter

Headhunter

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Nov 14, 2000
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6,335
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Tennessee
Re: Unnicorn question

On a farm I still hunt, for several years we saw many one horned bucks. A guy hunting a farm next to us, killed a one horned buck that had 12 points on the one side it had, just the one side measured over 60 inches. We debated trying to kill them out when legal and we saw them, but we never shot any of them and we have not seen a one antlered buck in several years now. Not sure what was or wasn't happening.
 
M

muddyboots

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Nov 6, 2002
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11,252
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savannah, tn., usa
Re: Unnicorn question

I once crawled a 1/4 mike on my belly down a gravel 2 track. I got to 175 yards of a giant and I was about to shoot him when he turned his head. Only one horn. I just dropped my head and waited for him to move off. Even funnier a fellow lease member did the same thing 3 days later in a the same spot. Ha ha.
 
S

Stykbow

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Sep 5, 2015
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1,200
Location
Campbell county
Re: Unnicorn question

I guess I’m kinda weird. I like different racks and have no problem shooting a one antlered deer. Riddle me this; I killed a one horned spike this year. I knew he was broken off when I shot him, but I have to wonder what the heck a spike was doing that he managed to break off one side. Also, I would think that properties with a close buck to doe ratio is going to have more busted up bucks during and after the rut. Especially those with older age class bucks that we all want. With less does there will be more fighting over those that are available which should increase the likelihood of broken antlers.


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M

Mike Belt

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Mar 26, 1999
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27,375
Location
Lakeland, Tn.
Re: Unnicorn question

I think outside of bucks still in velvet they all spar with each other; even a spike and a bigger buck. A spike generally doesn't have much antler mass meaning it's not unusual for them to break a side off.
 
D

DMD (formerly pastorbmp)

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Jan 16, 2006
Messages
7,660
Location
East TN
Re: Unnicorn question

Stykbow":1oxms507 said:
I guess I’m kinda weird. I like different racks and have no problem shooting a one antlered deer. Riddle me this; I killed a one horned spike this year. I knew he was broken off when I shot him, but I have to wonder what the heck a spike was doing that he managed to break off one side. Also, I would think that properties with a close buck to doe ratio is going to have more busted up bucks during and after the rut. Especially those with older age class bucks that we all want. With less does there will be more fighting over those that are available which should increase the likelihood of broken antlers.


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I agree with Mike Belt. Spikes feel their oats and think they can run with the big boys. Shucks, I have gotten several pictures of button bucks sparring with antlered bucks this year.
 

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