As a demonstration of the will to live, this whitetail has no hooves.
I will try to make it through this without making a Lt. Dan joke but, I make no promises.
As we all know whitetails, are tough. They survive in some of the toughest conditions and face some of the worst odds of survival. Think about all the dangers a deer faces: cars, hunters, coyotes, disease, and other predators. So, it’s no shock that this deer is able to survive without hooves. That’s right; look at the pictures below.
That is one tough buck. As you can see, he is an older deer, so there’s no telling how long it had been running around on bare bone. The hunter who took this deer did so to spare it further pain—a move we all can agree with but one that did not come without its share of criticism on social media.
Looking at the pictures it makes you wonder what caused this. Blue Tongue can cause hoof deformities, but for them to be completely gone? The possibility of injury, either from trying to jump a fence or stepping in a leg trap, has also been tossed around.
My money is on a disease called hoof rot. This obviously begins to erode away the hoof of the animal and normally results in death. Hoof rot is spread by a bacteria entering a lesion in the hoof or skin that is found in mud and dirt. It can be spread throughout the population, as deer often frequent the same areas for water and feeding. Bucks have it exceptionally bad, as they not only frequent the same food and water sources, but also, with rutting activity, scrapes and rubs. This hunter did the right thing by taking this deer to prevent the disease from spreading.