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November buck in velvet?!!
So I am in the woods when I get a text from a hunting buddy on an adjoining property. He has left the woods, but said that as he was leaving, he spotted a bedded buck in velvet. He wasn't sure if it was wounded, or if it just didn't see him. He gave me an approximate location, and I told him that if it was wounded, we'd put it down and I would put my tag on it. About thirty minutes later, moving slowly, we closed the distance to about 25-30 yards. The wind swirled and the gig was up. I could tell that he was favoring a front leg, so we put him down. Approaching the animal, I was surprised.....the antler configuration looked more like a red deer than a whitetail, and it was still in full velvet!! The front left shoulder had practically been blown off by a gun hunter.....(opening day of gun season was 6 days ago), so I am glad that we ended his suffering. While I have the option of forfeiting the animal and getting a new tag, after calling the DEC, I decided to try the meat first....if palatable, then my buck tag is filled.....if not palatable, the DEC will confiscate the entire animal, and issue me a replacement tag. I understand that the meat may be gamey because of adrenaline from being wounded (although I don't know on what day it was shot), and I am prepared for that possibility. My question is regarding the fact that the animal was still in velvet. Assuming some kind of hormonal abnormality, I wanted to test the Bowsite waters for similar experiences and outcomes.....Any reason (other than obvious) why the meat may be suspect?
First thing that I checked.....yes, but from my experience, they looked underdeveloped.
Love to see a pic of the buck, not the testicles..
My son killed a nontyp bull elk that was in velvet in Sept and I killed a mule deer last year late Sept - both had testicles that hadn’t dropped.
This thread is now SBH approved
Guys, I just want to know if the meat is good. I didn't take a photo of the genitalia, just its rack. I texted the photo to Pat....maybe he'll post it.....I am going to assume that it is cryptorchidism.....as I mentioned before, the rack actually looks like a small red deer antler configuration to me....
Wouldn’t risk the meat on an animal that had a shoulder blown off and which I did not know the timing of the wound. Why risk it. No upside really.
What the hell is “cryptorchidism” ?
Anyway here’s Jakes velvet buck with the tiny testicles. How appropriate given who shot him! ;-)
I find it interesting that Obewon LeFemine believes that he possesses knowledge (albeit less than accurate) of my testicle sizes, as mentioned by my wife.
I don’t see any reason the meat would be a problem unless he was getting septic from his wound. My baseline is the smell test. Skin it and check some not near the wound-smells ok then eat, stinks the pitch it. With the long firearm seasons in Michigan we have lots of chances to check out previously wounded deer
I wouldn't eat that defective critter.
While the wound was catastrophic, it was surprisingly clean. He was actually laying beside a stream (to replace fluids?). I am wondering if the stream actually helped to cleanse the wound. I decided to compromise last night.....I pitched the wounded shoulder (although it looked fine), and hung the rest to cool.....(except for the backstrap that was cooked). Meat tasted fine.
I killed a big velvet buck in Kentucky in 2008. Low 130's and very healthy. It was late October and he was with 9 does. No testicles, but very heavy body too. Tasted fine and i have him hanging on my wall.
Geez guys. 20 replies and only one guy took a swing a the softball jake put on the tee regarding his experience with underdeveloped testicles.
I shot a button buck decades ago that was still in velvet, most button bucks are in velvet until December around here.
"Geez guys. 20 replies and only one guy took a swing a the softball jake put on the tee regarding his experience with underdeveloped testicles."
We all know how that worked out for epstein.
The biggest bodied mule deer I ever killed was still in velvet in late October. He had no visible testicles. He was over 50" around the chest. When he stood with the other mature bucks in his bachelor group, he looked like Shaq standing amongst a bunch of teenagers.
Anyway, he was one of the best eating deer I've ever killed. I'm sure yours will be fine.
Cryptorchidism is a condition where one or neither of the testicles drop into the scrotum upon maturity of the animal, usually referenced in agriculture with cattle, and veterinary circles.
1boonr, I always thought a 'button buck' was a fawn buck, and that it is just skin covering the pedicle where the antler will develop in the next year at 1.5 yo. Any buck with velvet covered antler is at least 1+ years, not a fawn of the year. You may have a different definition of 'button buck' though.
IMO, that deer is fine to eat if it doesn't stink of rot or infection.
This buck is obviously in the midst of transition, pre-op. Very disconcerting that you assumed his gender identity in the thread title Jake! Meat is probably going to be fine, might taste a little fruity. :-)
Ate a buck my uncle had shot the front leg off a week prior. At a bou with a busted up and somewhat discolored front shoulder.
Both were fine.
A Cryptorchid is what we call them here in Alaska as well, specifically prevalent on Kodiak Island. Their nuts either don't drop, or one does, or whatever, either way they aren't interested in doe's and they just eat and sleep. I killed one last week and the meat smelled far and away better than the rutty bucks we shot. He also had a layer of thick fat on him, which the others did not. Meat is incredible...
The meat is likely just fine to eat, toss out the blown up shoulder and move on.
I arrowed a large 7 point still in velvet in our traditional rifle season and it would have been the last Saturday. That would have been around December 10th. Made some calls and PGC got back to me that even though it's rare its more common than you think. It was a male deer in a heavily hunted area and no one had seen it . The meat was fine although it was not wounded.
Nick, Your post is absolutely spot on. This buck had the single thickest layer of fat that I have ever seen on a deer, let alone a buck, let alone during the rut. He simply had no sex drive, and therefore didn't burn off his fat reserves. I pitched the front shoulder that was damaged, and processed the rest. Ate some of his backstrap last night....it was fine....
Shot this one in Illinois a few years back. Same deal. Lots of fat on him. Hanging with the does
I killed one with a similar description, save the bullet wound. The best characterization of it was a "pseudo hermaphrodite". According to one of the state biologist, the incidence was around 1/100,000 at that time. That was about 20 years ago. At the time, I hadn't killed too many deer and I was just thrilled with the fact that I killed it instead of doing a full field necropsy and the deer was far too large to remove from the field without field dressing. Mine had both male and female sex organs, fyi. I get more comments on it than any of my other mounts to this day.
Here's a buck I had on one of my spots last Nov, have pics from earlier in the year and 2017 as well. It's what I've heard referred to as a "cactus buck" which may have been mentioned earlier(didn't read all the posts).
Haven't see "it" this year, but didn't hear of anyone killing it either.
Hypogonadism.... Like eating a steer instead of a bull.
Trapperkayak- my buddy raises deer and his fawn bucks have antlers that shed their velvet in December which then reveals a little nub which they rub just like the big guys. They shed this nub and grow their first set of antlers with points. All whitetails do this
You guys have some good pix of velvet winter bucks, thanks for sharing...