What Is Cactus Buck?

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation was tagged in a tweet with a picture of a bull elk with a crazy rack. The bull has a condition that has become known as “Cactus Buck” in deer or “Cactus Bull” in elk. It gets its name because the antlers resemble cactuses growing out of the animals head.

I have seen a few pictures of the condition but never knew what causes it. Tom Toman explains what is up:

This looks like what they call a cactus buck in deer or cactus bull in elk. It happens less in elk than deer, but I have not found a reason for that. The velvet is never shed due to low testosterone levels and each subsequent year’s growth is laid over the previous year’s velvet. It is often due to an injury to the testicles. It can also be caused by cryptorchidism, which is a condition where either one or both testicles did not descend from the abdomen into the scrotum.

Best regards!
Tom Toman, RMEF Director of Science and Planning

To read the RMEF article CLICK HERE