Daniel Brewer, Jessica Gray kill cryptorchid bucks
Daniel Brewer of Home Branch, SC killed a 10-point, cryptorchid buck in Clarendon County on Sept. 27, 2023. The deer’s rack, still in full velvet, had a 17.5-inch spread.
Other hunters in the area had watched the deer on trail cameras over the past few years, and said it kept its rack the entire time, never shedding its antlers or its velvet. Growing a single set of antlers, and never shedding velvet, is typical of cryptorchid bucks. This condition is caused by an injury to the buck’s testicles at some point in its life, or a medical condition which halted the natural development of them.
This buck’s rack was beyond being in full velvet. The antlers looked downright fuzzy.
Brewer had never seen the deer before spotting it on that hunt. He shot the buck with a Marlin .30-30 from 100 yards away.
After killing the buck, Brewer got an assist from his nephew, Camryn Watford, to drag the deer to his truck.
Hunting in Dillon County, SC, Jessica Gray killed an even weirder-looking cryptorchid buck. Hers had 16 points. She shot the buck with a .243 while perched in a treestand overlooking a bean field from 45 yards away.
Is it safe to eat?
Cryptorchid bucks like the two featured here are perfectly safe to eat. The condition of their racks is caused by either an injury or anomoly in the development of the deer’s testes, but cryptorchid deer are otherwise as normal as any other deer.
Cryptorchid bucks are rare, but even more rare is a cryptorchid doe, which has a set of Medusa-like antlers very similar to those of a cryptorchid buck.