Shooting Times & Country Magazine

Flat antlers on muntjac

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In the south Midlands where I live, there are some muntjac that have little and not-so-little flat antlers that look odd. Any suggestion about what might cause these flat antlers, as I see some every stalking season?

When muntjac grow their first set of antlers, apart from being small, they can appear oddly developed when compared with mature animals.

Mature animals would normally have a four-point head, with each antler having a main beam and a brow tine. First heads are mostly single spikes, with no coronet present.

This form might continue into a second head, only a bit longer. If the animal lives long enough, the mature antler — in shape and form — will grow.

First heads will also grow as two little flat palms that look nothing like muntjac antlers and, again, this might carry on into a second head. Overall, these juvenile antlers will be short, say 20mm to 25mm in length.

Little flattened antlers like this are not unusual. If, however, you are coming across animals that are obviously mature in terms of body structure, teeth wear and so on, but have palmated antlers, that would be unusual. It would be interestin­g if you could let Shooting Times see some pictures of them. IW

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