A unicorn elk with on antler protruding from the middle of its head caught on a trail camera.
KIRO 7/David Kauer

Rare "Unicorn" Elk Found on Trail Cam in Washington

When checking trail cameras, hunters hope to see some outstanding big game prospects, but nothing compares to the footage recently found and reported on. According to KIRO 7, a trail camera in Tampico, Washington, caught footage of an elk with an antler in an unusual spot. It was coming out of the bull's forehead, immediately earning the elk a new nickname: "unicorn."

In an interview with KIRO 7, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife representative Kyle Garrison said that while the antler abnormality is uncommon, it does happen naturally. He added that, even from his advanced perspective, he has never seen an elk with an antler like this. However, sometimes abnormal antler placement can be caused by an injury to the elk's antler or the area itself was injured at some point. Garrison told the news outlet that the elk antler abnormality is likely just genetics.

Garrison also reassured KIRO 7 that the elk does not seem bothered by the antler's placement. However, it may cause problems with eating in the long run. From the images, Garrison can tell that the elk looks to be in good health.

The bull may have some problems attracting lady friends, though. A bull elk's antlers play an integral role in attracting cows; in this case, size does matter. He likely won't be able to battle it out successfully during the rut, when bulls lock antlers and duke it out. Garrison also pointed out that the pedicle, or antler's base, is in a particularly "abnormal location." When the bull goes through his shed, which is usually between January and April, the antler will drop off, but the new one will emerge from the same spot.

READ MORE: Matching Big Brown Elk Sheds Equals a Successful Shed Hunt