Paul Coker of Prospect could be classed as an accidental “trophy hunter.” This veteran hunter, who has claimed many a deer during his lifetime of hunting, has recently taken two deer that could end up in some kind of record book. But it won’t be for the huge horns that most think of when thinking of trophy animals.
Coker was hunting near Prospect a couple of years back and shot a small Blacktail deer. When he approached the downed animal, he noticed that the right side horn was stunted, and sticking straight out to the side. The other side was a normal-looking two point antler, but together they looked rather bizarre. The stunted horn was about five-inches in length, quickly tapered to a point and the pointed end had a very slight hood, almost like a Ferrier’s knife.
This year, hunting to the east of Lakeview, Coker shot at three bucks before downing an even more unusual Mule deer. This one had tiny horns that were little more than the diameter of a large pen, and about 5 ½ inches long. This deer, though killed on October 5, was still in velvet, had flat places on the horns, especially the right side and the horns had little projections, almost like an antelope.
This buck weighed about 125-lbs dressed out, according to Coker, and was described as “gnarly.” On its back just above the front shoulders, was long red hair and on the hind quarters was more of the long hair. Coker says the hair was from four to six inches in length, and that coupled with the red hair, make it look very unusual.
Being in velvet, the horns were a blackish color, rather than the polished horns we commonly encounter when a deer has been rubbing. The entire animal made Coker wonder if this was some sort of throwback or possibly even a cross between different members of the deer family. The antlers were certainly different and to have killed two or these strange deer within a couple of years must be an unusual happening.