Texas hunter harvests rare antlered white-tailed doe

Normally, only white-tailed bucks (right) have antlers, but recently an antlered doe was harvested in Texas. ©Courtney Celley/USFWS

A Texas woman recently hunted a rare antlered white-tailed doe (Odocoileus virginianus). Confirming the deer was a doe, a game warden instructed her to tag it as a buck, since “antlered doe” wasn’t an option.

“Antlered doe deer are almost as rare as cows roosting in treetops,” wrote John Jefferson, a former executive director of the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society who described the harvest in a recent wildlife column. “Well, maybe not that rare but rare enough that most wildlife biologists and game wardens have never seen one.”

After contacting a white-tailed deer authority at the Cesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M-Kingsville, Jefferson wrote, he confirmed that these does are extremely rare and their antlers are often abnormal and may not drop every year, like bucks’ do. This deer, he wrote, “

Read his column  on the rare deer in Advosports.