Editors Blog

Why Do Some Bucks Grow Three Beams?

Triple-beamed buck 1.The biggest deer in the woods are often the result of great genetics and good deer feed, but there are exceptions.

Take, for example, the case of this triple-beamed buck. My friend and DDH field editor Les Davenport reported a few years ago that there was a surge in the number of triple-beamed bucks showing up on trail cameras in Illinois.

What were causing so many deer to have these odd antlers? It could have been myriad factors, but a likely cause might have been cranial abscess disease. CAD occurs when a buck severely injures one or both of his pedicles. This happens a lot on properties with higher numbers of huge deer (fights during the rut).

According to deer researcher Dr. David Samuel, these injuries can result in abnormal growth either from the pedicle or the bony part of the deer’s skull.

Triple-beamed buck 2.“This growing cell mass creates tension on collagen fiber bundles at the base of these growing antlers,” Samuel reports.

“If there is any damage when the antler starts to grow, it may move these fibers to other parts of the skull near the pedicle and that might lead to nontypical points.”


Improve Your Licking Branches with Smokey’s Preorbital
Research proves that the licking branch is the No. 1 key to success when hunting a mock scrape. Smokeys Preorbital Gland LureFurthermore, the key to that licking branch is preorbital scent. Bucks secrete this scent as a means of distinctly identifying themselves from the “competition.” In layman’s terms, it allows deer to understand their rank in the pecking order.

What many hunters don’t realize is that bucks keep tabs on one another by using licking branches, and they do it year round. Why? Bucks pay close attention to one another by depositing scent from their pre-orbital gland to licking branches. Bucks regularly visit licking branches and become aware when a new rival shows up — the licking branch has the scent of a guy they don’t know.

Smokey’s preorbital gland lure contains matching glands from individual bucks. Smokey’s gland lures are extracted from harvested deer and processed to enhance and retain the properties of the scent. Enhance the licking branches over your mock scrapes with the real deal — Smokey’s preorbital gland lure.

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