An 8-Point… Doe?
Russ Chastain 04.01.15
Kansas – Deer hunters all over yearn for a buck to fill the freezer with a big rack to serve as a trophy to commemorate the hunt. We also often take does to help manage the herd and feed our families as we wait for a chance at a trophy. Only on very rare occasions does one deer accomplish both tasks, but that’s just what happened when Chuck Rorie reportedly took a fine 8-point whitetail doe.
I have heard about does with antlers ever since I was a little guy, and I know it’s the reason most deer regulations don’t differentiate between “buck” and “doe;” instead they use terms like “antlered” and “antlerless.” That’s because excessive testosterone in a doe can result in a doe with antlers. Kinda like the bearded lady–excess testosterone in the female of any species can cause her to exhibit male features.
One biologist’s rough estimate says that one in about 10,000 does will grow antlers. One Kansas wildlife agent said that out of his 46 years with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, he has seen no more than 15 antlered does and possibly fewer than that.
Moreover–and I remember learning this as a young hunter, too–most does with antlers don’t develop a good rack. Often, the antlers never harden and continue to be covered in velvet long after bucks have rubbed off the velvet and polished their antlers. Even when they do harden, antlers on does can be misshapen and spindly. So to see a fine, symmetrical, tall, well-developed rack like this one on a doe is exceedingly rare. In fact, when he shot the deer, the antlers still had tree bark on them, showing that she was rubbing her antlers just like any antlered buck would do.
Chuck took the deer in Sedgwick County on opening day of firearms season. It was the fourth antlered deer he’d seen, and when the doe appeared (whose antlers score about 115 B&C) he happily took the deer.
He only discovered its gender when he went to shuck it out and noted the deer’s lack of, um, junk.
Chuck observed that back home in North Carolina, he’ll continue to relish this experience, saying “We don’t have many big bucks, so when a guy brings a buck into the processor I’ll be able to tell him I’ve killed a doe a lot bigger than that buck [he] just shot. I’ll have a lot of fun with this.”