Missouri Hunter Tags 18-Point Doe on First Sit of the Season

Missouri Hunter Tags 18-Point Doe on First Sit of the Season Outdoor Life

Missouri Hunter Tags an 18-Point Doe on His First Sit of the Season

On Sept. 26, Missouri hunter Kelly Moore killed a doe with a bigger rack than most of the bucks he’s tagged. The velvet-antlered doe had 18 points, totaling over 150 inches. If those numbers hold up over the 60-day drying period, Moore’s deer will be added to the Buckmasters record book as one of the highest-scoring antlered does taken by a hunter.

“It’s definitely a record,” Moore told Fox Weather. “I don’t know that it’s going to be [number one]. A friend of mine came over and got a rough score of 157 7/8 [inches] and believes that it’s going to be like the third-largest in the world.”

Moore shot the deer on Tuesday morning during his first sit of the season at his property in Barry County. It was a hot day with temperatures in the 80s, and he said he wasn’t planning on hunting until he saw a picture of the deer from a cellular trail camera near one of his deer blinds. Moore got in the blind before sunrise and waited for a few hours. He passed on an 8-pointer and a few other bucks until the 18-pointer appeared.

Missouri Hunter Tags 18-Point Doe on First Sit of the Season Outdoor Life

Thinking it was a buck, Moore fired his crossbow and killed the deer. He saw something was amiss, so he called his local game warden. Officials with the Missouri Department of Conservation examined the deer and confirmed that it was a doe, not a buck. They said there’s roughly a 1-in-10,000 chance that a whitetail doe will grow antlers and explained that the deer’s atypical rack resulted from a hormonal imbalance that caused it to grow antlers year after year without shedding.

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“This is just a sign that we have an abundant and thriving deer population in Missouri,” MDC spokesperson Francis Skalicky said. “The higher your numbers are, the more anomalies you’re going to have… You never know what you’re going to see out there, and this is a case in point.”

Although the final score won’t be official until later this year, Moore’s trophy-sized doe will join a list of some of the biggest antlered does ever recorded. At the top of this list sits the 15-point doe that Doug Laird, another Missouri hunter, killed in 2014. Laird’s doe had an official final score of 180 7/8 inches, according to the Buckmasters scoring system.