Houston resident Kenny Stoll was deer hunting in the Sandhills Region of Nebraska earlier in November and took a good-sized mule deer buck with his .28 Nosler. As you can see in the photo below, aside from the single drop tine on deer’s right antler, it looked like a fairly typical mature buck at first. However, Kenny later realized he’d shot a mule deer with fangs as he was caping it out.
Upon further investigation, he noticed the buck had two upper canine teeth that somewhat resemble elk ivories (also known as “whistlers”) or the “fangs” that water deer and muntjac deer have.
While most whitetail and mule deer have lower canine teeth, upper canines like these are pretty rare. They aren’t unheard of, though. According to QDMA, biologists have documented several cases of deer with upper canine teeth, but they estimate less than 1 percent of deer in the United States have upper canines.
I personally have never heard of a mule deer with fangs like these.
Part of the problem may just be the fact so few people actually inspect the upper jaw of a deer they harvest. So, make sure you open up the mouth of all the deer you shoot in the future and check out take a look. If you realize you’ve taken a mule deer with fangs (or a whitetail for that matter), save the skull because that is absolutely a trophy of a lifetime.
If you’ve ever encountered a whitetail or mule deer with fangs, or have any additional information on why some deer have upper canine teeth like that, please contact me through my blog (the web address is below).
And yes, Kenny is going to get his mule deer with fangs mounted. That deer had a solid all-around rack, a drop tine, and a couple of upper canine teeth which makes it a trophy of several lifetimes. Congratulations, Kenny!