Sleigh Hoof Deer
YouTube: The Lindsey Way

Hunter Discovers Doe He Shot Has Surprisingly Long Hooves

Whitetail deer are prone to all sorts of diseases and disorders, much like many wild animals. Things like CWD, EHD and abscesses from fighting immediately spring to mind as some of the more common ways that deer die in the wild. However, there are plenty of other strange deer disorders that many hunters don't even know exist until they see them in person.

Case in point is a case of "sleigh hoof" in whitetail deer. It's a strange affliction in which a deer's hooves grow to longer lengths than normal. It's an uncommon affliction, but one that looks incredibly painful.

In this video from The Lindsey Way, they are on a late season doe hunt, just hoping to get some meat to donate to local food banks. Upon recovering one of several does harvested that evening, they discover the doe has four ridiculously long hooves. It's something you must see to believe.

As they mentioned in the video, according to the National Deer Association, this kind of thing often happens due to the deer's diet. In this case the doe may have been consuming too many foods that were high in energy. It could also be caused due to specific mineral deficiencies. In the farming world, this is known as "foundering" with domesticated animals, but we usually hear it called "sleigh hoof" in the deer world.

This disorder doesn't just affect deer. Elk and moose have also been recorded suffering from this odd disorder. Whatever the cause may be, this is one of the more painful-looking things that can happen to a deer. They didn't show much footage of the doe prior to the shot, but we imagine it was tough to walk on those things.

In the end, if you spot a deer afflicted with sleigh hoof, it's probably a good idea to take them out of the herd. Odds are the animal is suffering a bit and will likely have more difficulty getting away from predators than a deer with healthy feet. We hope they preserved those feet somehow after the harvest though. That's a unique find and would be a great conversation piece if preserved by a taxidermist.

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