Brisket hair damage

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vipermann7
 
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Brisket hair damage

Postby vipermann7 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:52 am

I'm a taxidermist in Wisconsin and posed this question on a taxidermist forum to discuss, and there has been no consensus on the topic. I know a lot of the members on this forum are very knowledgable about deer and deer behavior, as I've been around this site for about 6 years now. I thought I would pose the question here, and see if anyone has any ideas.


The question is what causes the hair damage seen at the top of the brisket area on some bucks? Right at the top of the "arm pit" area on some deer there are two distinct spots on some deer where the hair is damaged. It appears to be rubbed to the point where the hair is broken and partially rubbed off. Some deer are worse than others. I've seen some bucks that are just about bald on those two spots, others where the damage is barely noticeable. Some deer don't have it at all. Some guys suggested its rubbing damage from breeding, others suggest that ticks irritate that area, causing the deer to rub. Others say its ticks, but that the ticks damage the skin/hair causing it to fall out. Also seen some suggestions of mange. Anyone seen this, and anyone have what they think to be a "definitive" answer? If you haven't noticed it on a live deer, go look at your mounts hanging on the wall, there's a good chance some of you will know exactly what I'm talking about because your shoulder mount will show it.

I attempted to attach a photo here of what I'm talking about, hopefully it worked. In the photo, the damage is very light, but you can at least see the location and get an idea of what I'm talking about.

Thanks everyone.
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brisket (Small).JPG
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kellory
 
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Re: Brisket hair damage

Postby kellory » Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:18 pm

If you do not get an answer from these guys, you might approach the vet for your local zoo. They have a wide range of experience with all sorts of wild game, and might be able to help you with that question.
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

luvhuntin
 
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Re: Brisket hair damage

Postby luvhuntin » Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:27 pm

there are plenty of objects a deer "could" damage that hair with out in the woods. I`m going with their hooves. seems like a real good spot for lots of skin irritation with few options to scratch it with.

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Woods Walker
 
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Re: Brisket hair damage

Postby Woods Walker » Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:50 pm

I can't speak to the situation you show in the pic, but when I lived in New Jersey one of the places I was able to hunt was surrounded by large private estates that had 6' high chain link fences on their perimeters. This proved to be no obstacle for the deer, who would simply walk up to them and jump the from a standstill.

As a result of this, many of the deer we killed had "trimmed" sternum hair, that many times was so short that it was almost fuzz from rubbing on the tops of the fences as they jumped them.

One other possibility is what's called in the equine world a "shoe boil". I'm a lifelong horseman, and sometimes you see similar irritation on a horse. It seems that when a horse beds down, it will curl it's front legs up under it like most quadrapeds do. Some...not all...horses curl their legs/hooves up in such a way that they irritate the area just behind the front leg where it enters the body, sometimes resulting in bruising, swelling or other irritation. One of the horses we had would somehow do this to his back hocks, which were ALWAYS full of rubs and scar tissue. Most of the horses that have this are also shod (have shoes) on their front feet...hence the term "shoe" boil.

Whether this could happen to a deer or not is a guess on my part, but it does sound similar to what you describe.
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vipermann7
 
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Re: Brisket hair damage

Postby vipermann7 » Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:28 pm

Hey Woods Walker, thanks for the reply, that's a possibility that I never thought of. I don't really know either if what you described in horses would happen on a deer, but it's definitely an interesting idea.

It definitely looks like some kind rubbing is happening, due to the way the hair is broken off. It doesn't look like hair is just falling out, but that those spots are getting rubbed. Obviously there are plenty of things in the wild the deer can rub on, I'm just curious what is causing this specific kind of rubbing (assuming that its from rubbing). It occurs on such a specific spot on the deer, and not on all deer, but happens on deer all across the country, and again, in the exact same spots. Can't say for sure if it's only a buck thing or if it happens on does too, people don't seem to notice it on does, but then again, we don't taxidermy many does, so it could go un-noticed quite easily. Other ideas that came to mind are glands; are there glands there that are rubbed for marking purposes that nobody has every really heard of? A lot of people suggested ticks in one way or another, mainly that ticks congregate there and its from biting, scratching with the rears hoof, or rubbing on other objects because of the irritation on the skin.

I'm sure to most hunters this is very "who the heck cares?" kind of topic. To the taxidermists though that are wondering about this, it's a big deal in the sense that guys don't notice this damage to the hair when they drop a deer off, but it's the first thing a guy notices in the taxidermy shop when he comes to pick up his deer he hasnt seen in 10 months. First words out of his mouth are "what the heck happened to my deer? What did YOU do to it?" It happens in the woods, that much we've been able to narrow down. But it would be great to have an explanation for why it's happening, so when a customer walks into a taxidermist's shop and wants to know how that hair got damaged, the taxidermist can explain it better than " I don't really know, that's how it was when you brought it in". Plus, it's a part of deer behavior that would just be interesting to know more about.

Anyway, thanks again for the reply, I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

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Woods Walker
 
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Re: Brisket hair damage

Postby Woods Walker » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:50 am

"I'm sure to most hunters this is very "who the heck cares?" kind of "

Sadly, you are right I believe. I'm just the opposite. I'm immensely interested in ANYTHING that involves a deer. My mentor (God rest his soul) drilled that into me when I was a very young new hunter. It's all part of the whole.

Bu the downside of that is now you've got me puzzled! I will think about this until I figure it out...if ever! But that's the fun part...the journey.
Hunt Hard,

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Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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rthomas4
 
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Re: Brisket hair damage

Postby rthomas4 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:14 am

I've noticed this on does as well as bucks, and I believe it's the way they curl their hooves when lying down. We don't have a lot of fences for them to jump so I don't believe that is the case down here. Besides, most of the tics are usually in the groin area or around the ears, so I doubt the rubbing is caused from tics.
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vipermann7
 
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Re: Brisket hair damage

Postby vipermann7 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:59 am

I agree on the tick thing. I do believe that irritation from ticks can cause deer to groom, rub, or scratch, and that it could result in hair damage. But I don't see this kind of damage anywhere else on a deer with this kind of regularity and consistency, and like you said, there are a lot of "hot spots" on a deer where ticks like to congregate. Who knows, maybe its from aliens?

Woodswalker, if you ever come up with anything that seems like it cracks the case for you, keep me in mind and let me know! I will always wonder about it too until I find what satisfies my mind on it.

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kellory
 
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Re: Brisket hair damage

Postby kellory » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:21 am

We have at least one guy very good with a camera, and close in work with deer. Perhaps he could get some good shots of bedded deer, and hoof positions? :?: ;)
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

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vipermann7
 
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Re: Brisket hair damage

Postby vipermann7 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:43 am

I think in this case, pictures are going to be one of the best ways to give support to any idea about why this happens. If you get your hands on any that would be great.


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