What Is A Cactus Buck

Male deer known as “cactus bucks” have antlers that develop abnormally and keep their velvet because of changes in testosterone levels, which are typically brought on by testicular injuries, undescended testicles, or diseases that disrupt the testicles’ blood supply.

How uncommon are cactus bucks?

Although this type of deer is uncommon, it has been seen practically everywhere in the United States and in almost every deer species. These so-called cactus bucks are notable for having odd, malformed antlers covered with erratic growths.

Low testosterone levels lead to the development of the cactus buck’s uneven antlers, which produce velvet all year round. There are several causes for these hormonal abnormalities. The buck’s testicles are undescended in one of them, which is the most frequent cause. The buck also contracted an illness known as epizootic hemorrhagic sickness, which can harm the testicles. Sometimes a buck will unintentionally castrate itself, as might happen with a barbed wire fence, leading to the development of “cactus antlers.”

A few cactus bucks suffer from persistent pain or infection as a result of their diseases, while the majority are sterile. Calling your neighborhood game wardens or wildlife rescue may be helpful if you encounter a cactus buck that seems to be in need of help.

Can you eat a buck cactus?

When I shot my mule deer buck on October 23, the antlers were still velvet-covered.

Although not every deer experiences them, cactus bucks are a part of deer existence. A cactus buck is what? A cactus buck is a deer with many points on antlers that are still covered in velvet. Some of the antler’s tips develop in crooked places that resemble cactus growth.

As their antlers develop, members of the deer family, including deer, elk, caribou, and moose, cover their antlers with a hairy, velvet-like skin. The animal will eventually rub the velvet off as the antlers turn into a bone-like substance.

This year, my 4-by-5-point deer would qualify as a cactus buck. The same herd of six does produced the 2-by-3-point cactus buck that my hunting companion killed.

The velvet on each buck’s antlers immediately led us to the discovery that neither deer had testicles. This was my friend’s second cactus buck, but it was my first.

There are other factors involved than simply the deer’s velvet antlers that might turn a regular deer into a cactus buck. I conducted my study via the internet and a phone call to Ella Rowan, an assistant district wildlife biologist in Ephrata. Rowan also forwarded me a piece on cactus bucks written by Arizona-based wildlife biologist Jim Heffelfinger.

These animals with velvet antlers have been the subject of extensive inquiry. Hormones, particularly a lack of testosterone, are one major factor. The fact that antler growth is possible without testicles due to testosterone production in the adrenal gland further complicates the situation.

Even though the animal will develop antlers of normal size, there won’t be enough testosterone to cause the blood vessels in the antlers to constrict, which will result in the velvet drying up.

Members of the deer family often grow new antlers each year and lose their old ones as well. Many of the velvet bucks will continue to grow their antlers and never lose them.

Cactus bucks are thought to be produced in part by genetics, but this is still somewhat of a mystery.

The age of these peculiar-looking bucks is another factor. A mature buck won’t be able to create enough testosterone. His antlers won’t be shed because they’ll still be covered in velvet.

An animal may produce less hormones due to disease or tumors, like as testosterone, which can manifest as cactus bucks or even antlered does. The hemorrhagic disease bluetongue can manifest itself in the final stages of antler development. Depending on the weather in July and August, bluetongue outbreaks may occur in Eastern Washington.

Bluetongue kills a lot of white-tailed deer, although mule deer seldom contract the illness.

In contrast to white-tail deer, mule deer don’t typically exhibit symptoms of hemorrhagic viruses like bluetongue or succumb to them, according to Rowan.

My belief was that the sickness claimed all of the deer, so this new information is welcomed. The meat is the subject of the following query. Can you still eat it?

Not if the animal seems ill, according to Rowan.

Never consume an ill animal’s meat. But when hunting season arrives, the meat is safe to consume.

More factors contribute to cactus bucks. One of them is hormone-like plant chemicals that deer ingest. Some molds can shrink testicles, which prevents the normal quantity of testosterone from being produced.

Another issue is when the testicles stay in the abdominal cavity rather than descending into the scrotum. The testicles descending but remaining tiny is yet another. The hormones required to generate proper antlers won’t be produced in either of these scenarios.

Hermaphrodite deer, who possess both male and female sex organs, are capable of growing normal antlers. However, the estrogen may cause them to remain covered with velvet. Additionally, there are true antlered does with all of the typical female reproductive organs. They can procreate and rear their offspring, but their antlers are always covered in velvet and never shed. Can you picture watching two antlered deer interact sexually?

Over the years, cactus bucks have been seen in groups. Although some of these groups have been looked at, not all of the findings are conclusive. One group began to wonder what the animals were eating only after a protracted drought affected the region where the plants and deer were found.

As previously stated, the reasons for a deer developing velvet antlers are more complex than that.

Some aspects of the Cactus Buck Syndrome are yet unknown. As time and funding allow, biologists continue to study the illness. It is one of those fascinating natural events that has no negative effects on the environment or the animal.

The antlers of cactus bucks are they shed?

In January, I was watching some desert canyons for rutting muleys while seated next to a Sonora saguaro. There are plenty of mature bucks in the area, but because to a genetic flaw it can be difficult to locate a fine, deep-forked four-point. I don’t focus on this tiny fault, though, because these desert bucks have unusual antler traits, substantial mass, and aberrant points. I was certain I had discovered something special on this particular morning. A group of deer were being approached by a strong three-point buck who was well past his prime. The old rutting buck appeared mesmerized, his nose pressed to the ground like a bloodhound. Knowing that the ruler of this little herd would soon appear and give the invader a swift lesson, I adjusted my tripod in anticipation. A fresh buck emerged from the herd and quickly began to graze while completely oblivious to the intrusion. “Nick,” I said, extracting a cholla cactus spine from my ankle, “I found a good one,” I said, pointing at the buck’s burrs, which were unusually hefty, velvet-covered, and resembled a cholla cactus; a typical huge two-point frame with a few two to four-inch points. Nick, an Arizona native, has devoted many hours to searching the area for large sums of money. Nick promptly informed me that I had located a local legend named after the buck when I pointed out its location “Ghost. Nick had heard numerous tales about this buck from previous hunters but had never really seen him.

A ghost was “Buck the cactus He had no desire to have children. In contrast to the engorged buck who watched Ghostpuzzled by his inert reaction to his rude incursion on his herd, he behaved and looked like a doe. Every time Ghost tried to mount a doe, the rutting buck would cautiously glance back at him. It was hilarious to watch. Ghost didn’t take his eyes off the luscious forbs that covered the canyon’s desert floor. Later that morning, with my bow drawn back, I approached Ghost from a distance of 48 yards, but I was never given a fair opportunity to fire.

Describe a “Buck cactus? We see photos of deer every year with odd antlers, covered in velvet, with a jumble of knobby points and excessively hefty bases. These are the deer species commonly referred to as cactus bucks. You’ll likely find the findings of the extensive research conducted on the factors that lead a deer to develop such an unmanageable glob of velvet intriguing.

The covering for the developing antlers is velvet, an outgrowth of the skin. Blood travels through the velvet to the antlers throughout the growth stage, where it delivers nutrients. Velvet shedding is brought on by the mineralization of antlers and a reduction in blood flow brought on by an increase in testosterone levels. The hormone that controls antler growth is testosterone. In several trials, deer were artificially injected with testosterone as they were developing antlers. Before the blood flow had ended, the testosterone caused the bucks to respond by shedding the velvet from their antlers. Have you ever noticed that yearling bucks and senior males who have regressed are the last bucks to shed their velvet? You now understand why they don’t create as much testosterone as mature bucks.

So what do testosterone levels and cactus bucks have in common? I guess everything. In the majority of cactus buck accounts, a buck had the unfortunate fate to transform “himself into a “it. The main source of testosterone, the buck’s testes, could have been severely wounded or placed on a barbwire fence line, among other possibilities. These castrations result in repeated “Antlers in cactus creation with continuous velvet.

Depending on the deer’s age class and the stage of antler growth at the time of castration, the effect of the procedure on the development of the antlers varies. A young fawn that has been castrated within the first few months will never grow antlers because pedicles won’t form. It has been observed that older fawns who have undergone castration develop a tiny, persistent mass of velvet that resembles a knob. Castration of an adult buck during antler growth and in the velvet allows the velvet antlers to continue developing, skipping the velvet shedding stage and complete antler ossification. These antlers could continue to develop for a very long time, forming huge cactus racks. The springtime loss of these antlers will not occur. The moisture contained inside these velvet-covered antlers has reportedly been known to freeze in frigid climes, causing portions of the antlers to break off. I think this explains why we see so many large cactus bucks in regions with warm climates. The antlers are resilient enough to keep expanding without breaking. A few states with warm winter range and big cactus bucks are Arizona, Southern Utah, and New Mexico. A castrated buck with fully grown, firm antlers will drop his antlers shortly after the procedure. The buck sheds antlers in the same manner as an intact buck, but more quickly because of low or no testosterone. Low testosterone levels cause erosion between the antler and pedicel and slow down protein transport. Within a few weeks, the castrated buck’s antlers will fall off. The buck may grow new antlers the next year that will continue to be permanent and covered in velvet. According to reports, castrated old bucks in the Columbian blacktail population lost their antlers and never grew new ones.

Many deer are mistakenly believed to be cactus bucks before closer inspection. Another weird deer event also has the distinctive cactus feature. Female deer may also have the ability to acquire antlers. Numerous of these ladies have been seen lactating and are still fertile. Short-term growth hormone surges help to build the antlers. Typically, these antlered females are unable to produce enough testosterone to finish the antler cycle, which leaves them with soft, frequently permanent antlers that resemble those of a cactus buck. One tiny quantity of testosterone is enough to encourage the formation of a pedicle, which is all it takes to give a female antlers. If a chemical imbalance prevents ovarian function, other female deer have grown antlers. Have you ever encountered an antler-bearing doe? Little is known about this disease in deer among biologists.

Even though I’ve only known about Ghost for a month, it already seems like a long time. I currently go slowly through the crowded city while going about my daily business. If the rays of the setting sun hit the slopes just right as I’m driving, I can see Ghost’s haunt. He might still be hiding out in the dark with the does, in my opinion. The remaining bucks are all malnourished, wounded, and skinny. Not Ghost, he has a strong and healthy body. I’ll be returning on my rocky perch in December with high hopes that the ghost is still around and has an even greater accumulation of mass and points.

What is a buck without balls called?

Ray Yuran of Mercer County was perplexed by the coloring of the buck’s antlers on the first day of archery season because it’s uncommon to see a deer in full velvet during Pennsylvania’s hunting season. He claimed that they seemed reddish and had the hue of blood. I guessed that the velvet shedding might have recently ended.

The buck’s antlers actually still had their velvet, and the crimson hue was just a result of how the sun bounced off of them. That evening, Yuran requested his son Justin to conduct some research on the possible reasons why some bucks keep their velvet after other bucks have shed it. Throughout the investigation, Justin kept running into the word “cryptorchidism.

When the buck’s testicles, for whatever reason, fail to properly drop into the scrotum at the appropriate period, it is known as cryptorchidism. They never descend, even in dire circumstances. In other cases, when they do drop, they frequently have a tiny, distorted appearance. Cryptorchid literally translates to “difficult-to-find testes

Genetics have no bearing on cryptorchidism. Whitetails develop it at random, and even healthy newborn bucks can develop it if their testicles sustain damage at any time in their life, such as during a battle with another buck or (gasp!) by not jumping high enough to clear a fence. The consequences could result from a variety of sources, but they are all the same. The testosterone level of the buck plummets sharply.

In general, when the days start to get shorter in the late summer, a healthy deer buck experiences a normal increase in testosterone levels. Blood supply to the velvet is reduced, and the antlers are given calcium from the buck’s skeleton to harden them. About 30 days go by before the buck finally loses its velvet. Contrarily, cryptorchid bucks never experience the early surge in testosterone and, as a result, never engage in typical buck behaviors like producing rubs and scrapes. In essence, they start to resemble the species’ females more.

That final fact caught Yuran’s attention in particular, and he made the decision to approach this special buck in the same manner as he would a doe. He discovered the deer’s nightly route into the feeding patch on October 2nd, the first Monday of archery season, and set up approximately 20 yards away from it. Yuran took advantage of the opportunity to take a once-in-a-lifetime deer that green scored almost 160 inches when the deer showed up on the trail as predicted a half-hour before nightfall.

“We rolled the deer over when we recovered it,” Yuran remarked, “and sure enough, its nuts were about the size of almonds and its penis was barely as big as the tip of your pinkie finger.

The buck’s true fate, though, is still somewhat a mystery. After all, Yuran had trail camera images of the deer from earlier seasons, the most recent of which was dated February 2017, showing the buck without velvet. The rack appeared to be identical to any other buck’s rack in that picture. What transpired throughout those eight months?

One explanation might have to do with the buck’s estimated age of 4.5 years at the time of harvest. It’s likely that the buck’s tiny testes still allowed it to produce enough testosterone to undergo the regular cycle of antler growth and shedding throughout its first four years of life. However, by the time an individual reached adulthood, their testosterone production had probably dropped sufficiently to stop the process altogether.

Even testicles that haven’t gotten all the way down into the scrotum can still function. The deer will shed its velvet and have a shiny rack throughout the fall if they are mature and create enough testosterone. These cryptorchids are frequently called antlered does because their scrotums are empty and hardly perceptible. However, the late summer boost in testosterone that makes true antlered seek to rub trees never occurs. As a result, true antlered does never lose their antlers and are always covered in velvet.

True antlered still go through the same life cycle as other creatures. They reproduce, have calves, and rear fawns. Bucks that are cryptorchids, on the other hand, cannot reproduce. Due of their unusually low testosterone levels, they lack the urge and drive to reproduce or establish dominance. They never scratch trees, make scrapes, or engage in the ritualistic behavior of typical bucks during the rut.

Cryptorchid bucks never lose their velvet as they become older, although they do keep their antlers all year. They also never stop expanding. Cactus-like malformations and aberrant points on the antlers of very old cryptorchid bucks have led to the moniker “cactus buck” being developed to designate these cryptorchid geezers.

Lionel Crissman discovered the body of what was possibly the biggest cactus buck ever in Ohio in October 1989. The deer, known as the “Barnacle Buck,” has antlers with hundreds of points, 72 of which are claimed to be “scorable,” or at least one inch long. Despite being a basic 7-point rack, the net score is an astounding 257 4/8 inches.

Ray Yuran is unwilling to strip his 2017 trophy of all the velvet because that is required in order for the rack of a cryptorchid buck to be officially graded. “The record book doesn’t matter to me anyway, Yuran said. “This opportunity won’t come around again. What makes it so distinctive is the velvet.