PSU Deer Study

Every person…I mean deer…has a story.  Sometimes we get to hear it from the beginning.  Like when we capture a fawn or even before that when we capture its mom!  Sometimes we come in mid-chapter.  Like with Buck 12776.

Buck 12776 was captured in February 2016.  He was the only antlered deer that season that still had his antlers attached when captured (added fun for the crew!).  He was collared and sent on his merry way.

He apparently ran into some trouble last summer.  Someone found him laying by the side of the road, not a good place for any deer.  When approached, 12776 slowly made it to his feet and did his best to “escape” the intrusion.  

I don’t know what the car looked like but I’m sure both sustained damage.  He was caught on a trail cam later that month. 


You can see how he’s holding his right back leg up. 


As we all know, there is no urgent care or emergency room visits for deer.  Viruses, parasites, bacteria, and the occasional bumper are facts of life.  Their only protections are their wits and immune system, which is usually more than enough to get them through.  This appears to be the case for Buck 12776.

He made a cameo on a trail cam video about a month after his unfortunate roadway encounter.  

You can see he is still favoring his back leg but is managing.  He looks a bit thin but given the energy needed to support him AND heal an injury, he still seems to be in pretty good condition.  

Of course, this was before the rut.  And we all know how stressful that can be for a buck.  And it requires a lot of running around.  How are you going to chase those ladies when you have a bum leg?  

And then there is winter.  Slim resources to support the continued healing process.  What will happen to our hero?

Fear not!  Word on the street is that his picture was snapped after this video was taken and he is doing well.  Whew…thank goodness for time and that immune system. 

According to his collar, Buck 12776 is still alive and…I’m not sure about the “well” part but hopefully he will continue to recover.  He might always have a limp but those battle scars are a walking testament to his toughness and maybe even his fitness.  Who knows, it might make him MORE attractive to the ladies next year.

-Jeannine Fleegle
PGC Deer and Elk Section

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