Crazy Antlers A Topic Of Conversation

Hunter Duke went on a mission after capturing a trail-cam picture of a unique deer.

Brad Gill | January 3, 2022

Hunter Duke, of St. Augustine, Fla., was on a mission this deer season. After capturing a trail-camera photo of a crazy-looking 6-point on his grandfather’s Decatur County hunting property, that one deer was all he was interested in shooting.

“When I shot him was the first time someone had seen him in daylight. He came in at 2 a.m. every night,” said Hunter. 

Hunter was in a stand overlooking a food plot on the morning of Dec. 19.

“I hunted that same stand every time I got up to Georgia,” said Hunter. “It was the last day I could hunt this season because I have to work.”

Hunter was down to the last minutes of his last hunt for the 2021-22 season when the buck made an appearance into the plot.

“I was just about to give up, and he stepped out with a right front broken foot,” said Hunter. “He just hobbled out, stood on his hind legs and raked his horns in the trees. He turned sideways, and I dropped him.”

Hunter said that other than the broken right front foot, there was nothing else wrong with the buck. However, a story published by the National Deer Alliance reports, “Major skeletal injuries, such as broken legs, can sometimes have strange and unexpected effects on the future antler growth of whitetail bucks. The neurological connection isn’t completely understood or easily explained, but such effects have been documented many times.” 

Hunter said that no matter what caused the crazy-looking antlers, he’s just thrilled to have a unique buck, something he’ll talk about for years.

“I think he is a young buck. He was probably 180 pounds, but we feed them year-round a mix of protein and corn. He might have been 2 1/2,” said Hunter.

The crazy-looking buck certainly has been a topic of conversation, starting immediately when he took the buck to be processed.

“The processor dropped the tailgate and said, ‘What the heck is that?’” said Hunter. “He was a unique deer, and it makes a good conversation piece with anybody.”

Hunter elected for a Euro mount on the buck.

When crazy things happen in the woods, drop us an email at [email protected].

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