Imagine your surprise when the big whitetail buck you just shot is in fact a doe? The odds are against you, but it does happen.
It was just another normal evening of hunting for the husband and wife team of Russell and Jerika Francis, who were deer hunting near a wheat field on property owned by Russell’s family December 5.
Spotting a number of bucks and does grazing, the decision was made to harvest a ‘management’ buck – one with sub-standard genetics in terms of antler growth and symmetry.
Jerika pulled the trigger at 5:00 pm on the 10 point buck. Shortly after, its true identity was revealed.
“When he got ready to clean it, he noticed some parts were missing right away,” said Jerika. I went over to look, and sure enough, it was obviously a doe (with antlers).”
The antlered doe was harvested in Kingsman County, which is located in south-central Kansas. This is the second antlered doe to be shot in the region within the past year, as an eight-point doe was harvested last December in Sedgwick County.
Biologists conservatively estimate the odds of a female deer having antlers to be 1 in 10,000. Others believe it might in fact be closer to 1 in 100,000. High levels of testosterone are responsible for antler growth by does. It is still a bit of a mystery, however, why the excessive hormone trait actually occurs.
The couple will be getting a shoulder mount done of the doe for prosperity.
“I’d heard of them before, so I didn’t think they were that unusual,” Jerika said. “The more people I started talking to, the more I learned it’s pretty rare. It’s pretty neat.”