KINGMAN, Kan. – A Kansas hunter has taken down an antlered doe in Kingman County.
The Wichita Eagle reports Jerika Francis thought she shot a 10-point buck on Saturday afternoon on land owned by her husband’s family.
She said that her husband, Russell Francis, realized the animal was a doe with antlers as he prepared to clean it.
The Francis’ say they were hunting near a wheat field when they say several bucks and does grazing.
They decided Jerika would shoot one that was a “management” buck, meaning its antlers were not exceptionally large or symmetrical. Their objective was to take such a buck out of the herd before it could pass along such genetics.
Russell Francis says he recognized the deer.
“I know I’d seen that deer last year and (the antlers) hadn’t really grown at all,” said Russell Francis. “Now I know why. Everything I’ve read and heard says (antlered does) don’t shed their horns every year like a regular buck.”
Grant Woods, a Missouri-based biologist who researches whitetail deer, said antlered does are females with unusually high levels of testosterone. Woods says that if a doe has enough testosterone, she will rub all of the velvet from the antlers, like a buck, when they harden in the late summer.
Woods said that all does have testosterone, but some have enough to grow male-like antlers.
Keith Sexson with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism last year estimated he’d heard of fewer than 15 antlered does in the 50 years the state has had deer seasons.
Last month an antlered doe with 22 points was shot by a hunter in Missouri, according to a USA Today report.
Had the modest antlers been on a buck, Jerika Russell said she just would have had the rack mounted. Since it’s an antlered doe, the Russells have decided to invest in a shoulder mount of the animal.
They also may want to get ready for quite a bit of media attention. Rorie can attest to the fact that antlered does are a popular news story across most of America.
He fielded interview requests from his local newspaper and several national newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal.
Jerika Russell is already a bit surprised about the response to the few photos of her antlered doe she posted on Facebook.
“I’d heard of them before, so I didn’t think they were that unusual,” she said. “The more people I started talking to, the more I learned it’s pretty rare. It’s pretty neat.”