Tennessee man shoots elusive, rare deer he hunted for years

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(Courtesy: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency)

COVINGTON, Tenn. (AP) — A west Tennessee hunter who frequently spotted a rare buck near his property finally bagged the elusive animal after multiple failed attempts over three years, the state’s Wildlife Resources Agency announced.

Logan Hanks, of Covington, owns about 200 acres (81 hectares) beside the buck’s favorite hangout, a Walmart where it was often seen by locals over the years, the resources agency said in a Facebook post last week. The almost 7-year-old buck had unusual velvet antlers and was confirmed to have cryptorchidism, a condition that randomly occurs in whitetails causing them to present characteristics of both male and female deer, the agency explained.

Cryptorchid bucks don’t express dominance, don’t rub trees and can’t breed, causing them to display behavior more similar to does than bucks. Their antlers remain covered in velvet year-round and they continue to grow as the animal matures, according to wildlife experts cited by the agency.

After what Hanks described to the wildlife officials as a monthslong game of cat and mouse, the big buck emerged on his hunting cameras about two weeks ago and started appearing just before dark, within legal hunting hours. Hanks told the agency he vowed he would get the creature before this hunting season ended and his prediction came true.

He shot the deer Thursday, days before the season was set to close.

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