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Missouri Hunter Bags Rare Antlered Doe

He found his 19-point 'buck' to be a doe as he started field-dressing.

Missouri Hunter Bags Rare Antlered Doe

Brenden Marsh, 18, harvested this unusual antlered doe on Nov. 24 in Lafayette County, Missouri. Normally, only male deer or bucks have antlers. Does with antlers are rare and occur in very low numbers due to genetic, hormonal, or physiological anomalies. (Photo courtesy Brenden Marsh/Missouri Department of Conservation)

Missouri hunter Brenden Marsh may be only 18 but he has the hunting story of a lifetime.

The Oak Grove, Mo., hunter pulled off a rarity during the state’s November firearms deer season when killed a doe with antlers — 19 to be exact — in Lafayette County, the Missouri Department of Conservation reported. The deer weighed 165 pounds after field dressing.

It was the first deer taken by rifle for Marsh, and “by far” his largest, according to a news release.

According to the MDC, antlers can occur in does with unusually high testosterone levels. In some cases, what appears to be a doe is not a true female but rather a hermaphrodite with female and male genitalia, or a male lacking external genitalia. The antlers on true females are usually still in velvet far past the time bucks have hardened their antlers.

Marsh’s doe had a female udder and the antlers were still in velvet.

MDC wildlife biologist Joe DeBold said abnormalities such as antlered does reflect an animal’s poor genetic traits. While a great trophy, the deer’s harvest also removes inferior genetic traits from the herd.

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