Why You Might Want to Check the Jaw of Your Next Deer for Upper Canine Teeth
As hunters, we’re proud of every animal we kill. There’s a respect and adoration that is difficult to describe. It’s one that’s known and felt amongst other hunters, and nearly impossible to imagine for someone who’s never experienced it. That’s why we put trophies on our walls, to remember those past adventures. We look at those trophies with a sort of reverence only known to another hunter. It doesn’t matter the size of the antlers, the age of the deer, or what weapon was used during the hunt. Each trophy tells a story. And each is as unique as the hunt itself.
There’s one trophy on my wall, however, that I never expected. In fact, I didn’t even know it was possible to have such a trophy. What was intended to become a European Mount to join my growing collection ended up being a mount that stood out from all the rest.
Not Your Typical Deer
This whitetail buck, taken in South Dakota in 2017, may look like a typical European Mount at first glance. At closer inspection, however, you’ll notice the fang-like upper canine teeth on this skull.
It’s a rare throwback to the ancestral deer of years past. Modern research suggests well less than 1% of North American whitetail deer have this feature. It’s rare enough that Steven Rinella, the MeatEater himself, recently made this Instagram post about this very deer.
It’s a great reminder to always be a student of the animals you’re pursuing. You never know, you might just end up stumbling onto the next great find.
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