“Ugly” is a very subjective word. What seems grotesque to one person may be beautiful to another. However, the more we look at these pictures, the more we notice that there is just something very objectively wrong with how these antlers were developed.

Have you ever bagged a buck (or doe) with an ugly rack? There are a number of reasons why these antlers came in the way they did. Due to the nature of how antlers grow, just about any injury can have an effect on their shape. Some common deformities involve unicorn-like horns, or antlers sprouting from different places on the skull. Even more strangely, some bucks will grow a permanent rack in a condition called “cactus head.” These antlers will be perpetually covered in velvet and never be shed. Over time, the hardening velvet will grow into small spikes along the entire length of the rack, giving it its trademark cactus-like appearance.

Antlers can also “travel.” In the past racks have been successfully grafted to other parts of the deer’s body, and in a 1984 study, scientists were able to transplant an antler pedicle to a fawn’s leg. Of course in nature these out-of-place antlers have little use and only serve as a detriment to the animal. Some antlers have even known to grow out of or into a deer’s eye, partially blinding it.

Scary stuff.

Click here to read more about cactus head syndrome, or here to read more about unicorn deer.

Would you hang any of these racks on your wall?



Photo by Rex RxeCardCard



Featured image from Imgur

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4 thoughts on “10 of the Ugliest Deer Racks Ever Photographed

  1. Yes, I would mount most of these. The big nosed one and the cactus head animals might only get an antler mount with a photo of the beast next to it, but the rest are worthy of a shoulder mount. How else are you supposed to enjoy the unique attributes of the creature?

  2. i showy the big nose deer and I tried to get s shoulder mount but, the hair was failing off in spots.
    Cool to see it in the list.

  3. Super cool, thanks for the stories, well written articles research and GREAT PHOTOS to help educate many who think it is a “photo shop”. Love your work!! BTW I am out hunting for the next “unicorn deer”.

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