Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The Steer Deer
Check out the top deer picture - note how different the horns are from the more typical deer pictured below (with the 2 grinning idiots). The top deer is a 'steer deer' that my brother harvested on our goat hunt. These deer genetically lack testicles and typically never lose the velvet on their antlers. The antlers usually have huge bases (pedestals) and thin antlers with sharp tips. And because they lack balls they also do not go into rut. For this reason, they are the best eating deer because they are generally very fat and there are no rut related hormones in the meat.
Lately steer deer have been turning up more and more frequently on Kodiak - especially on the south end of the island. It has the deer biologists a little worried. It is probably a result of the genetic 'bottleneck' that occurred when the Kodiak deer population established by the importation of only a few deer. Little mutations within a population take on a far greater role when there is relatively little genetic variation within the herd. I gather chetahs in Africa suffer some of the same problems. Patrick