Hollow antlers

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by cutman, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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    Does anyone know what could have caused these sheds to be hollow around the bases? I do believe all 3 sheds are from last year so they sat outside for a year potentially.

    I’ve seen a lot of antlers in my time and I’ve never seen this. Weird to find 3 in a couple of weeks.

    IMG_9628.JPG

    IMG_9629.JPG

    IMG_9630.JPG


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  2. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    Kansas It's better to wear out than to rust out.
    Enlarged pedicles?
    Mineral deficiency that allows it to erode quickly?

    Just throwing out ideas, really have no clue.
     
  3. davidhelmly

    davidhelmly Member

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    Those are the oddest sheds I've ever seen, I have found a truckload of sheds in my life and never one like that!
     
  4. BenAllgood

    BenAllgood Active Member

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    One antler, I would think brain abscess. 3 I would think nutritional stress. But, i don't really think that could be it, could it?
     
  5. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    Most all of that would have had to happen after drop because there is nothing there that would have held them on. The outside ring is all that looks to be all in shape and that is not a connection point. I would think perhaps mice?
     
  6. swat1018

    swat1018 Well-Known Member

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    Never seen anything like that, and I've found lots!
     
  7. Jack Terpack

    Jack Terpack Active Member

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    I would suspect that those are older than one year. That is the most porous area of an antler when it is shed. Bacteria and other micro critters can work their way into that area and feed on the minerals in the antler from within.
     
  8. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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    From our state DNR biologist:


    “This is most likely caused by a brain abscess which based on research over the last 20 years is pretty common in bucks, particularly mature bucks. It is caused by a relatively common skin bacteria of deer. Due to the tendency of bucks to rub, spar, and fight we all know that they tend to get beat up on their foreheads. In the right situation this common bacteria can take advantage of the sores/scabs to erode a small pinhole through the skull and set up an abscess in the brain. This will eventually lead to the deer’s death but it can take a while in many cases. If the abscess is near/on the antler pedicle, which is the bone from which the antler grows, it could cause this hollowing. I suspect that these deer have an enlarged, spike like pedicle that fits into the hollow in the antler.


    The typical call that I get that turns out to be a brain abscess is from a landowner or hunter who says they have a nice buck walking around in circles in a field or food plot and you can walk right up to him. At this stage the abscess presents a neurological case and these deer are on short time. Brain abscesses are individual animal issues and do not represent a threat to other deer in the area.


    Pretty interesting that you found more than one of these.”
     
    KSQ2 and davidhelmly like this.
  9. BenAllgood

    BenAllgood Active Member

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    That's why I said brain abscess if it was one, but maybe nutritional stress since it was more than one. Didn't you recently stop protein feeding?

    The bases will go from convex to flat to concave as they age. (Good thing to note when shed hunting) but, that is an excessive amount.
     
  10. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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    This property has plenty of nutrition. I stopped protein feeding on another property. The two bigger sheds were from the same deer and definitely only a year old - they were in a field I check regularly.
     
  11. BenAllgood

    BenAllgood Active Member

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    Ok, didn't know it was the same deer. Brain abscess seems the most likely cause then.
     

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