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BUCK MISSING ANTLERS QUESTION

Old 12-09-2003, 07:11 AM
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Default BUCK MISSING ANTLERS QUESTION

I don't hunt but my father-in-law hunts and gives us a deer each year that we butcher and eat. Last night he shot a buck and I was helping him string up the buck and noticed that the buck was missing antlers. Actually part of one antler, about 3 inches was still there, and the other antler was pretty much a stub. According to my father-in-law it is also a fairly old deer. I thought lack of antlers on a buck could indicate it is unhealthy, so my question is should I be concerned about my family eating this deer? Thanks.
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Old 12-09-2003, 07:19 AM
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Default RE: BUCK MISSING ANTLERS QUESTION

This is not unusual for an older deer , the rack frequently declines with age . If the deer wasn't acting sick the meat should be safe to eat .
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Old 12-09-2003, 07:22 AM
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Default RE: BUCK MISSING ANTLERS QUESTION

No, not at all. Antler growth is simply a sign of age. Deers antlers start out as spikes and continue to grow until the deer reaches it's peak antler growth at which point the antlers will decrease each year as the deer gets older. Antlers can also be injured during velvet or broken off during the year. This is probably what happened to this one. Don't worry and enjoy the meat.
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Old 12-09-2003, 07:52 AM
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Default RE: BUCK MISSING ANTLERS QUESTION

Welcome to the board first and what the others have said is dead on about bucks, when they get old their antlers do go downhill, that and injuries while they are in velvet will whack them to. If the buck is old he may be pretty tough also so keep that in mind choosing how you will be cooking him.
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Old 12-09-2003, 07:52 AM
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Old 12-09-2003, 09:41 AM
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Default RE: BUCK MISSING ANTLERS QUESTION

Many things can cause abnormalities with antler growth such as; food, lack of water, stress, age, injury, shoot off, broken off, etc but they do not indicate a poor health animal. If the animal appeared to have normal size, characteristics such as fat, coat(hide) quaility, etc...it will be just fine for the table. While some older bucks are tougher in texture I have found that they are still good table fare, last night I fried up some bstraps from my old bush buck(non merinated) and they were just as tasty as the doe I harvested in the farmland with my bow in sept. Just remove the fat and silver skin...then enjoy.
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Old 12-09-2003, 09:41 AM
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Default RE: BUCK MISSING ANTLERS QUESTION

No, Dont eat it! Go ahead and wrap it all up nice and neat, Freeze it very
hard for 3-4 days. Pack it up in a nice big box and send it to me. I will dispose
of it for you.
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Old 12-09-2003, 01:01 PM
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Default RE: BUCK MISSING ANTLERS QUESTION

these other people are right. the deer probably lost the antler while in velvet and just never grew it back. my dad shot a fork that had a knob in the middle of one of the antlers and we figured that it broke off while the buck was in velvet and just regrew it. the meat will be fine so enjoy it.
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