Pointe Coupee hunter kills buck with upper canine teeth

Most deer hunters are fairly familiar with deer skulls and the fact that the age of deer is determined by examination of the lower jaw. Deer aging has been done in this state since deer seasons opened on public lands in the fifties. When DMAP came around in 1980, clubs and landowners began collecting jawbones for aging and many thousands of jawbones have been looked at over the past forty years.

When Roy LeJeune killed a nice adult buck in Pointe Coupee Parish, it wasn’t the antlers that got his attention, but rather the deer’s small peg like teeth in the upper jaw. It is a rare find to get a deer with these upper teeth, technically known as maxillary canine teeth, and that makes this a unique trophy. The only time that I have seen it is in books.

There really is not much information available about these teeth. The teeth may be present in the upper jaw and simply do not erupt as those in the photo did. Some researchers see it as a genetic throwback in the evolution of deer. Researchers who have investigated this phenomenon have found that it occurs more frequently in southern regions than in northern regions.

As mentioned above, this is the first instance of these teeth that I have seen. Leonard Rue mentions these teeth in his book, The Deer of North America, and Dr. George Lowery has a photo of a skull with these teeth that the late Joe Herring took in his book, The Mammals of Louisiana. If you want more information, check out the QDMA website which has several stories about this rare find.

About David Moreland 242 Articles
David Moreland is a retired wildlife biologist with LDWF, having served as the State Deer Biologist for 13 years and as Chief of the Wildlife Division for three years. He and his wife Prudy live in rural East Feliciana Parish.

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