WHAT ARE THOSE? Mystery Antler “Growths” Stump the Hudson Valley
Deer are such a common sight in the Hudson Valley that oftentimes you don't even look twice. A recent buck, however, stuck out from the crowd, and not in a good way. The mystery antler growths were not only gross but mysterious as well. Whatever they are, these photos are not for the faint of heart. You've been warned.
Local nature photographer Owen Cramsie recently posted the photos, saying, "I do not think they are ticks, I think some kind of fungus? Some might be here and there but I am not sure." It's no surprise that he was confused; the bumps seen on the deer's antlers looked more angular than the oval shape of a tick, and the answers from the local community were mixed.
"They sure look like blood-filled ticks to me", said one commenter. "The picture looks NOTHING like ticks", countered another. Other possible answers offered included warts, which have been known to appear on deer.
These warts (officially called cutaneous fibromas) appear on the body of the deer, however, and not the antlers. If they are ticks, logic would dictate the same issue: wouldn't they want to bite the body of the deer instead? The answer isn't that simple.
"Lots of blood flow in newly developing antlers. Perfect meal for ticks", offered a Greene County, NY woman. "The Deer's antlers are in 'velvet,' a blood-rich covering to nourish the antlers", agreed another. An updated photo also seems to confirm that these odd antler "growths" may in fact just be a giant mass of the most hated insect in the Hudson Valley.
"So I am tak[ing] pics of this guy and 1 of his friends jumps on board and starts picking off whatever is growing on him off. Guess they work together and he was on his head for about a minute. Lucky catch for me", posted Owen. While he remains confident that the bumps still aren't ticks, it certainly looks like that's what the hungry bird has caught in its beak. An inquiry to the Department of Environmental Conservation has not been returned at the time of publishing.
Want more deer oddities? Check out the albino deer of New York below, and keep scrolling to learn about Piebaldism and Leucism in deer as well.