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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I tried to upload the pics of the deer that I am asking about but they are too large and the site won't accept them (got a new camera and the pics are too big).

Here is the issue:

From the pics I have last year, this buck seems to be a 4 1/2 year old. This year he is quite a bit smaller. His rack is probably 15% smaller than it was last year and his body weight is probably down 25%. He has had some type of impact wound, either bow or rifle above his left shoulder. There seems to be quite a bit of atrophy or even a broken leg.

Does an injury of this type, granted I know it is hard to tell without the pics, doom these animals? Is he going to continue to spiral downward? This was going to be a great deer this year and a phenomenal deer next year. My issue is do I shoot him this year, if I have the opportunity, and have a nice animal or do I hope that he will bounce back for next? I would just hate for a good buck to die in a pasture of malnutrition.

I was able to attach two pics from last year (old camera)

Any and all opinions are welcome, because I am not sure what to do if I have the opportunity.
 

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You'd be surprised at how tough deer actually are. I would keep an eye on him through the season, and if he's not going down hill from now till then, I think he'll have a tremendous chance of being back up on his feet next year. Unless he gets an internal infection or something related to the wound after the season. I'm always optimistic on bucks, and would be happier taking a doe or a spike for the meat in hopes that he'd be a great deer in the following year versus taking him as a decent deer, as that is the reason you passed on him last year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Unfortuantely I didn't have the opprotunity to see him last year. He stopped showing up the third weekend in October and I thought someone had stuck him. Fortunately I found one of his drops 75 yards from my stand and my hope was renewed. I think that someone stuck him that third weekend and he spent the rest of the year deep in the brush.

What is your estimate on his age from last year?
 

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I think he might have been a 5.5 last year. But last year was a great year for rain so deer were fatter/healthier. If you think it is an injury just let him go. Agree with Mike on what to do with him.
 

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Rack/leg

Is his rack mis-shapen, as well as smaller? If he has a broken leg, his rack will never be the same. A front leg injury will affect the same side of his rack, a hind leg injury will affect the opposite side. If his rack is smaller, and fairly symetrical, he does not have a broken leg, unless it is a recent injury, after he grew his rack. If it is a recent injury, he may die, we have seen several go for months before they died, but if it is from last season, I would suspect he would live.
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I would personally just hang out by your feeder one evening and when he comes up just ask him how old he is, how his leg is feeling and if he feels he will make it through the season. Easy as that we do it all the time at our place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think that is a great idea. Do they have Rosetta Stone for whitetails? I wouldn't know what to do without a smart *** brother, JK, Thanks Glen.
 

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I'd say he was 5.5 last year as well, starting to sag a little in the jowels, but h*ll who knows.

Could he have been hit by a car?

Deer are remarkably resilient, let him walk ... he might straighten out next year. If the injury is severe the coyotes will probably do the work for you. But food for thought, Mike Biggs docummented a very very large whitetail run-over by a bush hog as a fawn that lost the bottom 3/4's of his front legs and still produced a 160" rack at 5.5.

This deer is probably on the way down after this year but, if you're not 100% sure, let him walk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I feel pretty sure that he was stuck with an arrow. I was seeing him twice a day every day at my camera last year until the third weekend of bow season. After that nothing, until I found his drop in May. I have pics of the injury (too large to post, site won't accept) and it is definatley a some sort of projectile above the right sholder.
 

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Does it look like the other bucks have racks that are down 15% this year as well??? As mentioned, last year was a banner year and your range conditions may be back to average this year.. Walker
 

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Other than the right G4 there is not a lot of difference in the total score is there?? I'm I seeing it different than you FB ?? Walker
 

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His genetics won't change from the injury. If you want him to continue to breed, I'd let him walk until he starts going downhill due to age... especially if he doesn't appear to be suffering. Good luck.
 

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Mid to high 120's ... G2's have better length this year, by the way.Boy, that does look like a broadhead puncture doesn't it ...

Arrow probably stuck in the shoulder and got knocked out when he ran off ... if you shoot him, you might want to be careful around that scar. I've seen some nasty accidents due to broadheads that were under a deers hide we didn't know about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I heard that about broad head injuries, I really don't want to loose a finger. Thanks for all of the help Spec Rig.
 

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He is a nice deer w/good genetics. Are you guys protein feeding? Did y'all have good rain fall? Maybe he just didn't get the groceries he needed during the year? How is the rest of the herd doing? and have you noticed any other drops in antler developement or is it just him?

I agree with Haute Pursuit. I think also that if it were a wound from last year (and that is what caused his antler decline), he might have died by now from infection. I'm sure you'll make the right call. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
We don't protien feed and we have had a real dry summer. The rest of the bucks seem to be down some, but not as much as this guy. I am getting the feeling from all of the feedback that this is a combination of a older deer that has been hit harder by the lack of nutrition this year than some of his younger counterparts and the injury hasn't helped him any.

Thank all you guys very much for all of your feedback.
 
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