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Thread: Atypical/Odd Caribou Antlers

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    Default Atypical/Odd Caribou Antlers

    I saw a photo on facebook this afternoon of some caribou antlers found in the field north of Shungnak(First Photo). They looked quite atypical/odd. I did a search through google and found two other photos of other antlers (attached one of them, here is the link: https://www.natgeocreative.com/photography/1324830 ). Just curious if anyone else has some atypical/odd caribou antlers photos from previous hunts? I tried doing a search through forums but maybe I didn't search the right keywords. Lets just say caribou hunting season can't come soon enough!

    antlers.jpgantlers1.jpg

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    Alaska Hunting Guide BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Looks like that ones momma may have bent over to pick up the soap near a herd of elk?!

    Ive seen them layed out and palmed like moose antlers before.
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    Theres Caribou, the wild indigenous creatures that roam the North American Tundra, and a few subspecies of those, woodland, barren ground, etc., each a little different in size, color, antler arrangement.
    Then theres a swatch of Reindeer in the field, descendants of those brought from Siberia and Norway 100+ years ago, and then there are the mixed ones, at least among the WACH (Western Arctic Caribou Herd) when 450,000 Caribou walked away with 80,000 or so domestic Reindeer from the Seward Peninsula in the mid 90's.
    Reindeer antler were a market to the Koreans, and when antlers are damaged, they, like most deer antlers, grow in some crazy ways.
    The most wickedly weird antlers came from Bull Reindeer, who had escaped de-horning and grew a strange set.

    The first picture looks "normal' a 2-3 year old bull, in that it looks like the skull is broken and the antlers 'folded' together. The second picture looks like a Reindeer. No white belly, short legs, the antlers angled 'back' rather than curving forward. Mid August, fat and no "Cahonas" hanging there, I'd say its a steer Reindeer.
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    Melk 1.jpg

    Crazy moose rack from Cordova. Looks 1/2 moose and 1/2 elk
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishGod View Post
    Melk 1.jpg

    Crazy moose rack from Cordova. Looks 1/2 moose and 1/2 elk

    Definitely some different genetics out Copper River area, that's for sure. I've seen some funky lookin' bulls come out of there. They can get pretty wide too.

    Never seen the half moose half elk though.

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    I'm going to second the opinion that picture #2 is a reindeer.

    But caribou really do have about the greatest variety when it comes to antler conformation. That's why there's no "non-typical" class for caribou in the records books.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strangerinastrangeland View Post
    Theres Caribou, the wild indigenous creatures that roam the North American Tundra, and a few subspecies of those, woodland, barren ground, etc., each a little different in size, color, antler arrangement.
    Then theres a swatch of Reindeer in the field, descendants of those brought from Siberia and Norway 100+ years ago, and then there are the mixed ones, at least among the WACH (Western Arctic Caribou Herd) when 450,000 Caribou walked away with 80,000 or so domestic Reindeer from the Seward Peninsula in the mid 90's.
    Reindeer antler were a market to the Koreans, and when antlers are damaged, they, like most deer antlers, grow in some crazy ways.
    The most wickedly weird antlers came from Bull Reindeer, who had escaped de-horning and grew a strange set.

    The first picture looks "normal' a 2-3 year old bull, in that it looks like the skull is broken and the antlers 'folded' together. The second picture looks like a Reindeer. No white belly, short legs, the antlers angled 'back' rather than curving forward. Mid August, fat and no "Cahonas" hanging there, I'd say its a steer Reindeer.
    Welcome back! Remember we killed one or two reindeer up there. Crushed nuts and or clipped ear. He was an old bugger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strangerinastrangeland View Post

    The first picture looks "normal' a 2-3 year old bull, in that it looks like the skull is broken and the antlers 'folded' together. The second picture looks like a Reindeer. No white belly, short legs, the antlers angled 'back' rather than curving forward. Mid August, fat and no "Cahonas" hanging there, I'd say its a steer Reindeer.
    Good call, I didn't catch that!

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Bruin View Post
    Definitely some different genetics out Copper River area, that's for sure. I've seen some funky lookin' bulls come out of there. They can get pretty wide too.

    Never seen the half moose half elk though.
    Thanks for sharing the photo, something I have yet to see in the field.

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    There is no such thing as a non-typical caribou; according to B&C. They are the only antlered species for which there are no deductions for "non-symmetrical" points, side to side.

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    ^^^^^^^
    Unless things have changed in the past few years, B&C does deduct for non-symmetrical points side-to-side. The only exception is they don't deduct for difference in non-symmetrical shovels.

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    Attachment 93236

    I found the symmetry of this set notable.

    Seems its all about balance and the muscles to move them around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Bruin View Post
    Definitely some different genetics out Copper River area, that's for sure. I've seen some funky lookin' bulls come out of there. They can get pretty wide too.

    Never seen the half moose half elk though.
    Spending a few years in Cordova I saw a couple bulls with strange antlers, I've seen some big ones over there though that's for sure.

    The only place I've seen with moose antler deformities like Cordova is out in 16B. That's just my experience though, I'm sure they crop up all over.

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    I've got an impressive unusual set that was shed. It is fused on the middle, like the whole top of it's head was antler. Pretty strange and I'm pretty sure it's reindeer. My brother in law gave it to me when he left town. I don't think I can post a photo though.

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    Ya, I had to play around a bit to get the rack so fine posted.

    the "Attachment" diddnt work so well....
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    I've seen a few odd bulls up north. I put an arrow through this drop tine caribou several years back. He didn't seem injured, but I'm still guessing that's why his antler was growing like this.



    Then there was this big dude wandering around Deadhorse. He was shot later that night be a hunter just south of the closed area on the Dalton. The antlers were later stolen from him. We saw him a couple years in a row and nicknamed him Corkscrew.


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    Quote Originally Posted by wags View Post
    ^^^^^^^
    Unless things have changed in the past few years, B&C does deduct for non-symmetrical points side-to-side. The only exception is they don't deduct for difference in non-symmetrical shovels.
    You are right. I guess things changed, but not recently. The last time I had bou antlers scored was over 30 years ago.

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    So the initial pic include a bou from the ak wildlife conservation center in girdwood. You should see the animal this year. Saw him today for the first time this year and he is stunningmuch larger than the pic in this thead. Sorry i didnt take a pic. But huge !!!
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    So, is the animal from Portage Wildlife Center a caribou with unusual antlers, or this from our resident caribou expert? "The second picture looks like a Reindeer. No white belly, short legs, the antlers angled 'back' rather than curving forward. Mid August, fat and no "Cahonas" hanging there, I'd say its a steer Reindeer."

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    Ever seen a reindeer at a wildlife center? Nice n fat......Looks like Reindeer to me, so I said so.

    Looks like the Portage Wildlife Center say's its Reindeer , too.......


    https://www.alaskawildlife.org/animals/
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