Three Bucks

by Carl Strang

Beds, footprints, and occasional sightings have made clear that at least two bucks have made Mayslake Forest Preserve their summer residence. Yesterday I spotted this fellow at the north edge of the mansion grounds.

He had impressive antlers, extending a little beyond his ears and with 4 tines each in addition to the brow tines.

Later there were two bucks in the orchard in the east mansion grounds. I was inclined at first to assume that the larger one was the same individual I had seen earlier. A close look at the photos soon demonstrated that this was not the case.

The antlers have a much wider spread, and only 3 tines above the brow.

The third male was smaller, and quick to jump away when his larger companion expressed a need for space.

His antlers are narrower, smaller.

I tried comparing these to the photos of the one I reported early in July.

I think this may have been the same as the smallest individual from yesterday.

I don’t believe he could have grown as much additional bone as is present in the two larger bucks in one month, and the notched left ear and antler shape appear to be consistent with the smallest of yesterday’s deer. On the other hand, there could be more than three…

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