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Stag Deer don't drop their antlers

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Stag Deer don't drop their antlers

Old 01-27-2003, 12:07 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Lancaster CA USA
Posts: 28
Default Stag Deer don't drop their antlers

Some interesting info on castrated deer.

I recently attended a sportsman's show in LA where they had some unusual CA deer racks on display. They claimed they were stag deer. I know what stag means. These folks also claimed stag deer don't drop their antlers each year.

I'd never heard of this. I posted a few requests for info on another topic in this forum and got interesting replies. See "Dropped antlers".
Anyway I decided to email our state (CA) fish and game to see if they had any info. This is the reply I got. I thought I'd post this as separate topic since this is a little known fact.

It's true - without the testicles (or if they are so severely damaged as to not function) the hormones are not produced normally which cause antlers to drop, so they just keep growing year after year in some rather odd shapes. When I was stationed up in Lassen County, we had reports on several deer like this and figured that they probably got damaged jumping over a fence but we never found out. Most of the really strange looking non-typical racks are probably from deer like this. Feel free to contact me with any other questions and I'll see if I can get them answered.

Craig Stowers
Ca. Dept. Fish and Game
Deer Program Coordinator
1812 Ninth Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-3553
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Old 01-27-2003, 07:34 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Kerrville, Tx. USA
Posts: 2,722
Default RE: Stag Deer don't drop their antlers

In Texas we call them "cactus bucks". People have theorized that they have had the testicles destroyed by being punctured by cactus thorns.

I have also seen bucks that were castrated on purpose as a fawn to be kept as a pet. The antlers do get very wierd looking and never shed their velvet. That is the hallmark of a "stag". They always have velvet. Any wierd, nontypical rack that is hard horned would not qualify as a "stag".

One pet buck was in Corpus Christi. After several years, the buck kept getting abrasions which the flies would get in and cause infection. The only way we gave the buck some relief was to give him several injections of Testerone so the antlers would harden and fall off. Of course, he would start growning them again immediately. I am a veterinarian and these people were clients of mine.

Edited by - txhunter58 on 01/27/2003 20:36:31
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Old 01-28-2003, 04:32 PM
Boone & Crockett
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ponce de Leon Florida USA
Posts: 10,079
Default RE: Stag Deer don't drop their antlers

I shot one in south Alabama about 20 years ago. The taxidermist used a syringe to inject preserving fluids in it or a long time before he finally got it to dry slowly. Unusual looking.

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Old 01-28-2003, 05:02 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Dunkirk MD USA
Posts: 283
Default RE: Stag Deer don't drop their antlers

i've seen several stag mulies on our place, my buddy shot one last year that was a nice 4x4 with really thick mass that measured 20x20 inches with very little damage to the velvet. it's going to make a nice mount. i've always speculated that it was jumping over the barbed wire or they just didn't fall when they were fawns (seen a dog once with only one nut). but every year i generally see at least one.
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Old 01-28-2003, 11:14 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Posts: 2,584
Default RE: Stag Deer don't drop their antlers

I learn something new here everyday, this was an intersting read, thanks for sharing this information.
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