You may remember Buck 12776.  Captured in February 2016, he was hit by a vehicle last summer. He was clearly having mobility issues limping on his right rear leg.   Broken bones are a nasty side effect of taking on roadway occupants.

Given the injury, we might expect to see a deformed left antler in 2017. Something known as contralateral effects.  But we rarely get glimpses of our collared deer, let alone a photo.

But this year we did better than a glimpse or photo – we got a video! As part of the camera trap work studying predators, Asia Murphy captured video of our hero.

As you can see he is now a 10-point buck (maybe even an 11 point!) with symmetrical antlers that spread beyond the ears. So it appears his injuries last summer were more soft tissue than broken bones. 

Regardless, he is a true hero – beating the odds and coming back bigger and better than before.  And he’s out there on the Rothrock State Forest.  

-Duane Diefenbach

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