Hunters in Alabama killed what they assumed was an 8-point buck, but upon closer inspection and starting to skin the animal, they discovered it was not a deer at all. Kelley and his friends were hunting when they realized that the animal was missing something – it did not have any male genitalia. They contacted the Alabama Department of Conservation to learn more about their discovery.

Chris Cook, a coordinator with the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division’s Deer Program, was familiar with other deer that have been brought into the department when Kelley told him about the doe with antlers. None of the other animals had a full set of antlers like Kelley’s squad caught.

“I’ve seen a few over the years that looked like does externally that had antlers,” Cook stated. “But it’s not physically possible to do that, and be fully functional does. I’ll get reports about a few each year in Alabama. The ones I usually hear about are the ones with fully developed antlers but are still covered in velvet. They have enough testosterone to start the antler growth but not enough to complete the cycle.”

Kelley and his friends were distraught when they noticed the missing testicles.

“Then the guy who shot it was starting to skin it and said, ‘Boys, this is a doe,’” Kelley said to the officials.

He continued, “What was more crazy was the guy who shot it said the deer was actually not chasing a doe but walking behind it. The doe urinated, and this deer lip-curled just like a buck would. The landowner has had this land all his life, and they’ve never killed one like it his whole life. It’s a significant rack for a buck. If you looked at it, you would say this one was a shooter.”

However, as Cook states, the deer these hunters captured is not a doe or buck, but something else entirely. It is what is known as a pseudohermaphrodite – a creature with both male and female reproductive organs. In fact, only 0.1% of the deer population are does that have functioning reproductive organs and antlers.

“A deer like this with hardened antlers will have testes inside the body cavity,” Cook said. “They don’t have fully developed male or female organs. They may have external female organs, but they would have to have underdeveloped testes that were still large enough to produce enough testosterone to have that antler growth.”

The state’s department conducted an analysis of the deer and found that it weighed 175 pounds. The deer had 8-point antlers, two of which were kickers on the base of the antlers. The animal was hunted in Sumter County near Montgomery, which is approximately 130 miles west of Alabama border with Mississippi.