Texan Takes Trophy 'He-She' Whitetail Deer

Texan Takes Trophy 'He-She' Whitetail Deer
Alan Woodward had the rare opportunity to observe this 17-point antlered doe for several years before finally taking the odd trophy last season. The South Texas deer never shed her rack throughout that span. Photo by Macy Ledbetter

When I observed the "he-she" deer four years ago, my understanding of the world of whitetail deer changed forever.

Having grown up a whitetail hunter in South Texas' McMullen County, I've seen plenty of beautiful deer over the years. The thing is, bucks have always been bucks, and does have always been does. At least, this was the case until four years ago, when my understanding of the world of whitetails changed forever.

The story began in the year 2000. While watching a group of does feed one day, I noticed one of them was different. She had what looked like black holes on top of her head, similar to those on the forehead of a buck after he has shed his rack. This seemed strange to me - but another observation was even stranger. When this doe urinated, the stream shot straight back and pulsed, like water from a sprinkler. I was amused by this, but soon forgot about it.


The next year, while I was hunting in the same spot, I watched a high-racked 7-pointer walk out. I noticed the buck was still in full velvet, and with it being November, I knew this shouldn't be. I had my video camera with me, so I started filming the velvet buck. And then it happened: The "buck" put up his tail and urinated from the back end - and the flow pulsed like a water sprinkler! The doe from the previous year immediately came to mind . . . this was the same deer!


I observed the "he-she," as I came to call this unusual whitetail, for the rest of the season. The deer seemed to have become somewhat of a loner, except for a 2 1/2-year-old buck that was with it most of the time. All of the other deer seemed to avoid it. I really sort of felt sorry for this deer, because it didn't quite fit in. I appreciated the young buck that seemed to accept the "he-she" and gave it some company.


As the next year's season rolled around, I thought of this odd deer often and wondered if I would see it again. To my delight, the velvet-antlered deer showed up again, but it was no longer a 7-pointer. Having not shed, the antlers had now grown some more tines and were now taking on an awesome, freakish appearance. The young buck, which was now an 8-pointer, was still hanging out with his strange friend.

I filmed and watched the two deer the rest of hunting season and then on into May. The little buck had shed his antlers by then, but the "he-she" was still in velvet. I had come to the conclusion that this had to be a hermaphrodite, an animal with both male and female organs.


I showed the videotape to Macy Ledbetter, our local state game biologist and a good friend. Macy said he believed the "he-she" was an antlered doe, but I was skeptical, because of the strange urination pattern. I decided that, Lord willing, if the "he-she" was back the next season, we would find out the answer to this mystery.

Now let's move ahead to October 2003. On my very first trip out to scout for deer, lo and behold, I spotted my old friend. This year the "he-she" had developed more sticker points and an 8- to 9-inch drop tine. The buck that had befriended the "he-she" was an 8-pointer again, and they were still traveling together.

Our property is low fenced, so the "he-she" was a free-ranging deer. With no guarantee the odd animal would even be on the ranch when gun season came in November, my anxiety was almost too much to bear.


On opening weekend I went out with high hopes of taking the strange deer, but to no avail; every time I would see the "he-she," it was 300 to 400 yards away. Now, this range might be a sure shot for some of you, but four years of living with this deer had made me decide not to take any chances. I set my limit at 200 yards, and the wait was on.

On Nov. 8, after I'd sat in the cold drizzle for two days, the "he-she" and its companion came out at their usual 400 yards. After a few minutes, however, something spooked the deer, and they sprinted into thick brush about 200 yards from me. I said a little prayer, and the "he-she" walked out at 190 yards. Finally, after four years and many good memories, the deer was mine.

I called Macy, and he came on out so that we could finally have the mystery solved. As Macy had guessed, the "he-she" was a she. The genitals and internal organs were all female. A minor physical deformation had caused the unusual urination pattern. The antlered doe sported 17 very unusual points, still in full velvet.

Although I felt sad for the 8-pointer losing his running buddy, I am very thankful for the time I was able to spend watching and documenting the "he-she," as well as for the opportunity to harvest such an odd but beautiful whitetail.

Recommended for You

In blackpowder hunting, details always matter. Don't learn the hard way. Guns

Choose the Right Load for Your Muzzleloader

Gordon Whittington - March 05, 2019

In blackpowder hunting, details always matter. Don't learn the hard way.

Here's how to crack the summer code. Early Season

3 Types of Late-Summer Bucks & How to Hunt Them

Garrett Tucker

Here's how to crack the summer code.

Who says you can't be in two places at once? Other

Real-Time Intel: Moultrie Mobile

Gordon Whittington - July 22, 2019

Who says you can't be in two places at once?

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Illinois Muzzleloader Whitetail Hunt

Illinois Muzzleloader Whitetail Hunt

G.O. Heath is hunting with his muzzleloader in Illinois.

North American Whitetail - South of the Border

North American Whitetail - South of the Border

Dr. James Kroll and Pat Hogan head south of the border in pursuit of whitetails in old Mexico.

On Target: Tips for Handgun Hunting Accuracy

On Target: Tips for Handgun Hunting Accuracy

Dr. James Kroll provides tips for hunting whitetails with a handgun.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Fill your quiver with the right ammo this season. Bowhunting

The Best Arrows for Deer Hunting

Tony J. Peterson - June 10, 2019

Fill your quiver with the right ammo this season.

To hear many serious trophy bowhunters tell it, Kentucky must be a figment of someone's fertile United States

Best Spots for Bowhunting Kentucky Trophy Bucks

Gordon Whittington - July 21, 2016

To hear many serious trophy bowhunters tell it, Kentucky must be a figment of someone's...

After weeks of speculation, the official 60-day entry score for Luke Brewster's epic Illinois non-typical bow-killed whitetail was announced today in the OSG booth at the 2019 ATA Show in Louisville. According to North American Whitetail editor Gordon Whittington and associate editor Haynes Shelton, the Brewster buck is the largest buck ever taken by a hunter anywhere in North America! Trophy Bucks

BREAKING NEWS: Brewster's 320-5/8-Inch Non-Typical Buck Pending World Record Announced

Lynn Burkhead - January 10, 2019

After weeks of speculation, the official 60-day entry score for Luke Brewster's epic Illinois...

See More Stories

More Freak Bucks

Jeremy Loveland was taping on a friend's land in middle Georgia when he spotted this giant Freak Bucks

Biggest Four-Point Buck Ever?

NAW TV - May 16, 2012

Jeremy Loveland was taping on a friend's land in middle Georgia when he spotted this giant



A Michigan hunter has taken what is probably one of the most unique racks of all time.

Scott Freak Bucks

Michigan Hunter Kills Full Drop Rack Buck

Dylan Polk - December 20, 2011

A Michigan hunter has taken what is probably one of the most unique racks of all...

An Oklahoma hunter takes a unique buck whose velveted antlers are so thickly covered, that he can't Freak Bucks

Muzzy Moment: Thick Velvet Buck

NAW TV - July 01, 2014

An Oklahoma hunter takes a unique buck whose velveted antlers are so thickly covered, that he...

See More Freak Bucks

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.