What would you do???

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What would you do???

Post  wihunter24 on Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:41 pm

I've been following this buck since 2012.  In 2012, I figured he was a stud of a 3 yr old that was destined for greatness.  Everything about him seemed normal.  I passed him up several times that fall and he eventually busted his rack all up.  In summer of 2013 he showed back up on my cameras, only now as a 4 yr old, he was smaller than what he was the previous year.  I figured it was just because of the late spring, drought etc... (he wasn't the only deer on my place to get smaller).  In late August / early September, I noticed bumps / tumors/ abcessess growing on his right side near his rib cage....  They continued to get bigger before eventually bursting later in the fall.  Fast forward to this year at 5 yrs old.  If you go off of the 2012 pics when he was 3, you'd think he'd be a giant this year.  He's shrunk again and is now smaller at 5, than he was when he was 3 or 4.  The "lump" has appeared again in late August / early September, only this time it's on his opposite side.

My questions?  1)  I'm thinking this growth is affecting his health / antler growth, but what exactly is it??
                     2)  Would you shoot if he walked by?  Rack wise he's not exactly up to par, but age wise he is.....
                     3)  Assumung you shot, would you eat the meat?

Onto the pics.....

2012......  Perfectly fine





2013...... Lumps appear and rack shrinks






2014.....  Lump appears on opposite side and rack continues to shrink




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Re: What would you do???

Post  Mountainman Vic on Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:48 am

I think I'd offer to take a kid hunting for his first buck. Wink

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Re: What would you do???

Post  bowGal on Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:31 pm

Can not say I would  eat the meat,    Zack have you ever shown these photo's to  one of  your  deer  biologist? 
 ( LOL   like they would really  know if there anything like a few we have Crying or Very sad)
 That is  just wild,  he seems to be  doing fine ,    Look's like he has  busted open  what ever that growth  he has  going is, this  year,
   If  I have time  I  might just  send this pic's over to one of our   DNR guy's and see what they say,  
 You do FB   maybe you  should ask  Mr  Wood's what he think's? Wink

 I agree with Vic tho, if he is not one you want to tag take a  youngster out , that or one of those   pretty lady hunter's, and see if you can get  one of them set up on this  buck, for there first  kill.

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Re: What would you do???

Post  Pa. Bowhunter on Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:31 pm

What would happen if you kill it and the meat is bad ?? Would you be able to keep the rack and get another tag issued ??
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Re: What would you do???

Post  Boss Gobbler on Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:46 pm

Thats a tough call man. I would try to observe him and see if he looks sick. Then I would either decide if he needed put out of his misery or if he seems fine I would let him go. I know I have read that the meat is fine if a deer has tumors but I wouldnt eat it.
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Re: What would you do???

Post  wihunter24 on Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:52 pm

bowGal wrote: Zack have you ever shown these photo's to  one of  your  deer  biologist? 
 ( LOL   like they would really  know if there anything like a few we have Crying or Very sad)
 
 I agree with Vic tho, if he is not one you want to tag take a  youngster out , that or one of those   pretty lady hunter's, and see if you can get  one of them set up on this  buck, for there first  kill.
 1)  I have never seen / nor talked to a wildlife biologist in these parts.   2)  Those "pretty lady hunters" are all married or engaged
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Re: What would you do???

Post  wihunter24 on Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:54 pm

Pa. Bowhunter wrote:What would happen if you kill it and the meat is bad ?? Would you be able to keep the rack and get another tag issued ??

I bet I'd be keeping the rack because my tag would be on it.  Highly doubtful I could get another tag issued....
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Re: What would you do???

Post  Pa. Bowhunter on Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:27 pm

In Pa. if you shoot a deer that has bad meat , the PGC will issue you another tag but they will also take the deer . So if you can't keep the rack and get a new tag , let somebody else shoot it !!! They can deal with bad meat , if it is. To me that would be wasting a deer if you can't eat it . And going by your pics , he does seem to be having some sort of infection that is taking all the good stuff that would normally be used to grow his antlers and using it to fight the infection.
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Re: What would you do???

Post  Godfather on Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:29 pm

If he wasn't one that you were specifically targeting then I wouldn't burn a tag on that buck, especially if you aren't able to keep the meat. Those are some funky looking bumps.
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Re: What would you do???

Post  BuckslayerNY13 on Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:03 pm

Hopefully next year he gets healthy and his rack size just explodes!!!
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Re: What would you do???

Post  chukbuk on Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:41 am

Well around here it seems slobs would should it and leave it lay as I have found several in the last few years that were shot and not recovered.  Tough call, if the buck seemed to be not suffering, I would let him live to see if he improves.
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Re: What would you do???

Post  ridgerunner on Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:36 am

I wouldn't eat that buck or spend my tag on it.  Although I would also be interested in knowing what's wrong with it.  I'm curious if you've had a chance to watch or capture video of him over the past 2 years and if he walks kinda strange.
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Re: What would you do???

Post  soil on Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:17 pm

if you get two buck tags, and he is trophy age, i could see shooting him, and then holding out for a larger antlered buck.  i wouldn't eat the meat though.  looks like coyote bait to me.
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Re: What would you do???

Post  BuckRubIL on Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:55 pm

Early season I may hold out, but push comes to shove I'd have no problem putting my tag on him given his age and the history you have. 

Agree with everyone else though, I sure wouldn't eat the meat!
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Re: What would you do???

Post  wihunter24 on Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:25 pm

ridgerunner wrote:I wouldn't eat that buck or spend my tag on it.  Although I would also be interested in knowing what's wrong with it.  I'm curious if you've had a chance to watch or capture video of him over the past 2 years and if he walks kinda strange.


Haven't laid eyes on him this year, but last year during muzzleloader season (early December) and through the winter he was moving around just fine whenever I laid eyes on him.

I do get 2 buck tags- 1 for archery and 1 for rifle / muzzleloader.  If it's getting down to the last couple days I'd have no problem taking him out.  If nothing else, I'll try to talk the old man into shooting him.
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Re: What would you do???

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