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Is This a 3-Legged Mule Deer Buck or Doe with Antlers?

Finding a three-legged mule deer is rare. It’s even more uncommon to see an antlered doe. 

With all the predators in the West, it’s extremely uncommon to see a mule deer with a significant handicap. Not only does it make them an easier meal for coyotes, bears, wolves, and cougar, but it makes them more susceptible to malnourishment and weather.

Taking that into consideration, you would probably feel pretty lucky to come across such a sight. But, what if you that three-legged mule deer was an antlered doe?  You imagine no one would believe you unless you have a video of it.

That’s exactly what Tammy Russell believes she caught on video!

In Tammy’s Facebook post she says:

Doe with velvet horns and her three legged velvet friend. Anybody who knows deer knows that does don’t have horns and there shouldn’t be any bucks with velvet horns this time of year. It’s December 18th. Unless its also a doe or been castrated.

In the comments section of Tammy’s post she added:

We were looking for nuts on both them but couldn’t see any then the one pee’d. [We’re] thinking they may both be does. If the bigger one is not a doe then its nutless.

I’m not arguing Tammy’s conclusion because I wasn’t there, but I have personally seen both blacktail and mule deer bucks squat to pee. What do you think? Is the three-legged mule deer a buck or antlered doe?

Either way, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime sight!

Dominic Aiello is an avid hunter, angler, and wildlife policy expert. He is the President of the Oregon Outdoor Council, Cabela’s Prostaff, and Outdoor Writer. Follow his adventures on Instagram @daiello91 or Twitter @HunterInformant


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Is This a 3-Legged Mule Deer Buck or Doe with Antlers?