Zombie Deer in the Ark-La-Tex? What Do Bloody Antlers Mean?
Let me start off by explaining that I have never been hunting in my life. I rely on my "Redneck Dad" to fill up my freezer with all the delicious venison. I realize it sounds horrid that I have never put the work in to get my own deer, however, I do plan to change that this year thanks to a buddy who has all the patience in the world.
Before I hunt for the first time, I have been doing a little bit of research, and so far, I think I can pull it off.
One thing I am not ready to deal with is a zombie deer.
I ran across a photo that is clearly a zombie deer. If I see blood dripping from a deer's antlers in any way shape or form, I'm going to call it as I see it. Check out the photo that stopped me dead in my tracks below.
You can't tell me this picture doesn't creep you out. Even the Great Smoky Mountains National Park said it was a frightening sight "Scary-looking deer with blood and strips of flesh dripping from their antlers".
Mortified, I ran this photo to my hunting specialists who chuckled and said "Yeah goofy it's shedding its velvet". With wide eyes, I said, "You mean to tell me there are deer that are out there looking like this in the Ark-La-Tex?". We have zombie deer ladies and gentlemen.
Wait, deer have velvet? Since when?
In short, the shedding is essential and painless. The velvet is a protective layer of skin tissue. Why does it bleed? The velvet is packed with blood vessels and nerves. You may see some deer with bloodied antlers and a weird stringy material dangling down. Not to worry, it's just the velvet.
Turns out they aren't zombie deer, just a good ole deer shedding.