From two-headed fawns to extra limbs, this #WhitetailWednesday is about to get really weird.
Like any animal, whitetail deer are sometimes subject to nature's cruelty. As a result, they can end up with some really strange deformities that can make life miserable.
For today's #WhitetailWednesday, here are 8 of the strangest deformities to have hit the net in recent years.
A few photos of bucks like this have been making the rounds for a while. People have suggested everything from injuries, to bad genetic traits or down syndrome to be the cause. There are other strange bone structure deformities similar to this that circulate the net, too, some having curved or even crooked nasal structures.
Whatever the case may be, it couldn't have been easy for this buck to eat. It's probably merciful that a deer hunter was able to take him.
A few of these female deer seem to pop up every hunting season. Many times the hunters in the area have no idea the animal is a doe until they flip it over to field dress it!
Such was the case with this 222-pound antlered doe taken by Wisconsin hunter Wayne Douville in 2016. Antlered does are usually caused when testosterone levels are higher than normal in a female deer. These deer often have abnormal antler growth, but as we saw in the Douville doe, they can also grow a very normal set of antlers any hunter would be proud to put on their wall.
If there is one deformity we'd be glad to go our whole lives without seeing, it's warts on a deer. Warts, officially known as cutaneous fibromas, usually happen as a result of cuts or wounds. They can also result from common parasites like biting flies or mosquitoes. In any case, bucks are more likely to get them as a result of fighting.
The internet is full of photos of deer absolutely covered in disgusting warts, so it's more common than you might expect. Wildlife biologists say the meat not covered in warts is safe for human consumption, but we'd still be a little bit hesitant. Sadly, these growths often happen on a deer's face near their mouth and nose, making life difficult.
This stillborn fawn was found in southeastern Minnesota a few years ago and has had biologists scratching their heads ever since. Discovered by a mushroom hunter, the doe chewed through the umbilical cord and licked the fawn clean before she realized it was dead.
An MRI revealed it had two hearts, but shared a liver and lungs. Since this kind of thing does happen occasionally in cattle, scientists speculate it probably happens often in deer populations, but the young deer likely don't survive long.
It was very lucky that the mushroom hunter was in the right place at the right time to recover this rare find.
This kind of deformity is quite rare, but it does happen on occasion. The Quality Deer Management Association says deer with extra limbs coming out of their backs or other areas are likely carrying around a parasitic twin. The deer likely started out as twin embryos in the womb.
But when the embryos don't separate, sometimes you get a deer with an extra limb or two. The good news is while you get a really weird-looking deer with this deformity, it usually doesn't prevent the animal from living a healthy life.
This uncommon deformity is often seen in cattle and even in other deer species, such as moose. However, it's also seen in whitetails, and it definitely makes for a strange sight when a deer's hooves grow disproportionately long.
Experts believe this type of deformity is caused by mineral imbalances. The buck in the photo above likely spent too much time eating high-carbohydrate foods at bait piles or deer-feeding stations. It looks painful, but it certainly didn't stop the buck from growing a big rack.
A few photos of whitetail deer suffering with this rare condition have been making their way to the web in recent years. Obviously, the name comes from the cartoon moose, "Bullwinkle.". This is what happens when a deer sufferers from a long-term bacterial inflammations in their mouth, nose or lips. These deformities are fairly new phenomenon and the QDMA recommends reporting them to your state wildlife agencies as soon as you see or shoot one.
Because of the bacterial nature of this deformity, scientists have advised against these deer for human consumption. Still, we think we'd have to pull the trigger anyway, if for no other reason than to put the animal out of its misery. This type of thing looks incredibly painful, but fortunately, this condition is extremely rare.
This deformity is often the result of a buck who manages to injure his genitalia or has some other type of hormonal imbalance. It seems like several of these bucks are shot every year and it results in some of the most abnormal antlers ever seen by deer hunters. In many cases, the bucks don't even shed the antlers, they just keep growing. Sometimes does grow these cactus racks, too.
Some of these "cactus" racks have actually resulted in some absolutely massive non-typical deer. But current Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young scoring systems don't accept these deer into their record books. In fact, the clubs have declared more than one deer like this as "unscoreable" due to the freak nature of the antlers.