Josh Bowmar gets a nasty surprise when he walks up on this buck.
We love the YouTube channel of Josh and Sarah Bowmar. This couple seems to always have an epic adventure while bowhunting. In one of their latest videos, Josh is bowhunting in Oklahoma when he gets the chance to go on a spot and stalk.
At first, everything seems normal in this hunt. Just your standard spot and stalk. However, Josh and his cameraman don't get a good look at this buck until after they finally have it on the ground. It's only then that they realize this buck had a major health problem.
This buck has at least two nasty abscess formations on his body. Some would say they make this animal look like a zombie!
From the right side, this buck looked perfectly healthy. One would never guess there was anything wrong with it. As Josh and his cameraman theorized, this injury could have been the result of a collision with a car. However, it could also be the result of a rut injury with a larger buck while fighting.
Curious and intrigued, I did a little research on abscesses in whitetails and found many state wildlife agencies address them on their website. Idaho Fish and Game's website says that these nasty-looking wounds don't usually cause illness because the area of damage is localized.
However, it's worth noting the IDFG also notes an abscess can cause health problems for the animal including bacterial infections. Of course, you're probably wondering; is the meat safe to eat? Well, the IDFG recommends trimming out any affected areas. In the case of this animal, that would include some choice meat in the front shoulder and hindquarters.
When an animal has an abscess like this, it's usually full of pus and bacteria, so it isn't worth taking a chance on. You'll usually see these develop on the head near the eye sockets or antler pedicles of white-tailed deer as a result of sparring. These usually result in brain abscesses and natural mortality. They also have a tendency to form in the lymph nodes or near an animal's genitals.
It's unfortunate that the meat is wasted, but at the same time this was a very humane kill. As Josh said, it's unlikely this deer would have survived another year with those gaping open wounds on his side.
On another note, Josh always seems to have the strangest harvests. We think this one is weirder than the buck that shed both antlers when the arrow hit a few years back. We'd be interested in seeing a follow-up video showing how they handled the meat from this animal, if they ate it at all.