Twin Sons of Different Mothers

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Early in September, a bachelor group of 4 bucks files into a soybean food plot in the very murky moments of daylight.

Unbeknownst to them, a hunter is perched 125 or so yards away in a tripod stand at the other end of the plot. Equipped with very sensitive 8x56 European binoculars, the hunter watches as they file into the field and begin to gorge on beans.

He notes with satisfaction that they are all young and healthy looking deer - all are 6-8 pointers and there appears to be no pecking order in this group... they ease into the field and spread out as they begin to feed.

All are out of velvet now but have likely been out only a week or so - the rubs have just now started to show up on the trees in the area.

At some unseen signal, all of the bucks raise their heads and become instantly alert - and all appear poised for flight.

The hunter, immediately alarmed, "feels" for the wind direction... no... the wind is in his face... they do not smell him... and he did not walk through the plot... what is going on?

Two of the bucks immediately flee the plot, right back into the hardwood head they came out of.

The other two hold their ground... a slight mist hovers over the plot as the morning starts to invade a little more fully now...

From the other side of the plot a slightly larger buck strides into the field - walking directly toward the other two bucks. His head is up and feeding does not appear to be on his mind!

The 168 grain bullet. moving at roughly 2700 feet per second, catches him directly in the center of the lungs. He wheels and bounds out of the field on the same path he came in on.

One of the other bucks hightails it - and amazingly enough, the remaining 8 point buck lowers his head and begins to feed again!!!

The hunter watches as the remaining deer winds his way up the plot, feeding as he comes - and the calm and collected buck (or - maybe a foolish buck?) walks within 10 yards of the stand as he leaves the plot!!!

Our hunter watches for a while longer and eventually gets down and moves up to where the buck was shot and picks up the blood trail - and a scant 30 yards into the pines, locates the downed buck.

Later that same year, in mid October, the same hunter is sitting in a tower stand watching a power line that separates that same hardwood head and a stand of mature pines.

No less than 500 yards separate the two stands.

The afternoon passes and darkness begins to fall. The deer come pouring out of the hardwood head, crossing the power line and heading out to feed for the night.

Several small bucks are mingled in as the does file out in small groups of 2-3 deer...

Precious few moments of shooting light remain when a decent buck appears in the power line - but coming from the other direction.

He steps into the open and raises his head - moving it side to side - apparently scent checking the area.

The hunter knows it is 200 + yards, the buck is out past the second power pole and they are roughly 150 yards apart.

Taking careful aim with the stock of the rifle rested on the rail of the tower, the hunter slowly applies the 3 pounds of pressure it requires to snap the imaginary glass rod.

Another 168 grain bullet leaves the muzzle and a fraction of a second later, strikes the deer high on his right shoulder, dropping him like a stone.  

Our hunter gathers his belongings, waits a few moments to make sure the buck does not move and then walks down the powerline to inspect the deer.

Neither of these hunts were more spectacular than some of the others he has partaken in. Of course, all hunts are a gift from God and are to be treasured - no doubt about that!

I am sure that most of you are now thinking... OK, Jim, where are you going with this???

After processing both deer and placing their antlers on wall plaques, I was struck by the similarities between the two. I began to inspect the racks - I am convinced that they are brothers or more likely, step-brothers - or are closely related in some manner (I think that true brothers - the same mother and father is not altogether common, given the breeding habits of deer).

The racks are not identical but the way they are formed, the way the G2's and G3's come off of the main beams, the way the brow tines are formed and the length of the main beams are all eerily similar!!

Take a look at these racks and notice the similarities... they are very much the same. We have taken many deer off of this property in South Carolina and they range from wide, to tall, to wide and tall... but none of them seem to resemble each other the way these two do...

Twin sons of different mothers? Perhaps and perhaps not - but it sure looks like it to me!!!


ManOfTheFall's picture

Great story, I really enjoyed

Great story, I really enjoyed it. I have shot a few bucks over the years from the exact same tree stand and have wondered often if these bucks that look similiar if they are related. Barring anything short of DNA testing we will probably never know for sure. Those racks do look pretty similiar to each other though. Related bucks or not, I want yo congratulate you on those nice bucks, taken in the same year. Thank you for sharing your story. 

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Looks to me as they are

Looks to me as they are related for sure.....congrats!

jim boyd's picture

Oh yeah, I think they are the

Oh yeah, I think they are the same family for sure.

I did read a story recently about the vadility of culling bucks off of your land it basically stated that it was a waste of time.

They took two like properties and for several years, took the culls off of one and not on the other and at the end of the test - both properties showed the same amount of mature bucks.

Makes you wonder how correct - or in some cases - how misguided some of our notions are!!!

CVC's picture

They certainly look alike so

They certainly look alike so they probably share some of the same genetics.  I think deer in an area often share much of the same genetics.  In some areas you'll see lots of nine points or split brow tines making you think that they are all related to a certain degree.  It would be cool to gather the DNA of deer taken in an area and trace their genetics.  Do a family tree of the deer in an area.

Some biologist has probably already done this, but makes you think about how many deer in a certain area are related.  i suppose that is why those that manage their hunting areas are so intent on removing deer exhibiting bad genetics.  I wonder if those areas that are managed for long periods of time end up with deer that look like clones of one another.  Oh well, I digress.

Thanks for sharing the story and the pictures.  Just makes me more excited to get out and hunt this week.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Good story.  They do fur sure

Good story.  They do fur sure look like they are from the same genetic pool.  Very similar racks in size and shape.  Pretty cool!

Critter done's picture

Great Story

They sure look like twins to me.

jaybe's picture

Like Two Peas in a Pod

They sure are extremely alike aren't they?

I think your theory is probably right - - they are certainly related somehow.

Thanks for the story - nice pictures.