Hunter's 8-Point Kansas Buck Actually a Rare Trophy Doe

Photo Courtesy of Michael Pearce/The Wichita Eagle

North Carolina deer hunter Chuck Rorie was surprised to discover that the 225-pound, 8-point deer he shot in Kansas last Wednesday scored him 115 inches and...a doe.

Rorie, of Monroe, N.C., traveled to Sedgwick County, Kansas to hunt opening day of firearms season on a friend's property of neighboring farms. While positioned in a ground blind overlooking a hay field, Rorie saw three does enter the field with three young bucks in tow. When what appeared to be a fourth buck with the most impressive headgear of the group arrived, he pulled the trigger.

"I didn't think much about it, it just looked like a nice buck when I was watching it and shot it," Rorie told the local newspaper, The Wichita Eagle. "But when I was skinning it I realized something didn't look right. It didn't have the right private parts."

It would be unfair to call Rorie's kill anything but a lucky mistake. The 8-point rack, even from a distance, did not give any indication that something was potentially amiss. Though antlered does are rare, similar cases in the past normally displayed short and slender antlers, often passing it off as a spike undetected. Rorie's deer, however, presented a thick, glossy 17-inch wide spread characteristic of healthy bucks.

What makes Rorie's doe especially rare is that fact that she had completely rubbed off her velvet. Antlered does are producers of unusually high testosterone levels. Though most does carry enough to grow antlers, few have enough testosterone to cause a hormonal flux that triggers the annual rubbing before the rut.

"We hear of a few antlered does every season," said Gordon Whittington, Editor-In-Chief of North American Whitetail. "They come from scattered locations across North America, but to my knowledge, they're not common anywhere. One study in New York years ago suggested the incidence of antlers on whitetail does is around 1 in 18,000. How that might compare to the rate elsewhere I'm not sure, but if it's anywhere close to true, there are a fair number of antlered does out there."

Buck or not, returning to his hometown of Monroe where a large 8-point rack justifies local bragging rights, Rorie plans to mount the deer and enjoy the privilege of correcting anyone who says, "That's a nice buck you got there."

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