Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Wisconsin Hunter Shoots “Extremely Rare” Pregnant Doe in November

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

Whitetail 365
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

December 03, 2012

Wisconsin Hunter Shoots “Extremely Rare” Pregnant Doe in November

By Scott Bestul

The first shock for Wisconsin hunter Ben Johnson was the sheer size of the doe he shot. The second shock came when he started to field dress it.

“It was really tough getting that first incision made,” Johnson says. “When I finally did, this little burst of fluid came out…and then a small hoof. I couldn’t believe it.” Before he finished, Johnson, who was hunting in Waupaca County, pulled two fawns from the doe. “They were both dead, their skin was silky white, and their hooves were white, too. There were about 50 little golf-ball sized tufts of hair on each.”

Johnson was convinced the fawns were still-born last spring and remained in the doe until he killed it on Thanksgiving Day. But when I showed the photo to the QDMA’s Kip Adams, a seasoned wildlife biologist, he was skeptical.

“I suppose there’s a small chance of that, but it’s much more likely that the doe would have expelled the fetuses if they were still-born last spring or early summer,” he said. “I’m betting that the doe was just bred extremely late. Eighty percent of fetal growth occurs during the final trimester of pregnancy, so it’s not odd that they don’t have hair yet. If he shot the doe on Thanksgiving, I’d say these fawns would have been born around Christmas.”

Adams says that backdating from then would put the doe’s conception date sometime in June, when bucks are still in velvet. When I asked Adams if he’d ever heard of breeding taking place that late for a northern whitetail, he said, simply “No. This is the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this. It’s extremely rare.”

Comments (21)

Top Rated
All Comments
from huntnow wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Very interesting story. I would imagine these fawns would not have survived anyway though, being born in winter. Likely they would have starved or been killed by a predator.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from small game sportsman wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

If the doe is that far into the pregnancy, it would be pretty obvious. Why shoot it?

-14 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Jager wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

He obviously thought it was impossible for the doe to be pregnant so late in the year.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from DannoWV wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

You can tell small game sportsman is just that, a small game hunter. First it is hard to tell a doe is pregnant and who would even think to look if a doe was pregnant in rifle season. Do you look to see if squirrels are pregnant?

With that said, this is very strange in deed. I hope they study this more. She had to be in heat in June. A buck doesn't have to be in rut to breed, he just needs a doe to be in heat.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

the fawns would not have made it either way, december and january are way to cold and food for the doe would be very scarce. it is very confusing and interesting..

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Benjamin Johnson wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

never in a million year would i have guessed she had fawns in her....yes they were dead and have been for some time. Their hair was almost all rubbed off. There we hair balls floating in the womb... only a few spots still had hair as you can see in the photo(the chest and upper front shoulders). there wasn't any abnormal smell durn dressing either. The doe was 168lbs. dressed.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from mike f 1980 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

This is a very intresting story. If the the fawns were still born and she did not expelled the fetuses. The doe would have suffered and died. I feel he did the deer a favor.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

All - Jeez folks, think you're being hard enough on Small Game Sportsman? I mean he obviously had a "blonde moment" but -13...come on, we're better than that.

Small Game Sportsman - Given that this is a very rare scenario, and does are usually fat going into winter, there was absolutely no way to tell that this animal was pregnant until it was field dressed.

Benjamin Johnson - Thank you for sharing this very rare and very unusual story with us!

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nikki Voss wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Hey, I know Ben, his sister took this photograph, I'm glad she did too. It's amazing and could hardly believe it myself. But can tell you that there isn't any IF about it. The Fawns were still born. This is extremely rare, and he's one that has always been careful about what deer he shoots, and watching to make sure the herd isn't too small on his land. He's a good guy, hunts to feed his family and has made history with this doe. I'm glad he shared it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nikki Voss wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Hey, I know Ben, his sister took this photograph, I'm glad she did too. It's amazing and could hardly believe it myself. But can tell you that there isn't any IF about it. The Fawns were still born. This is extremely rare, and he's one that has always been careful about what deer he shoots, and watching to make sure the herd isn't too small on his land. He's a good guy, hunts to feed his family and has made history with this doe. I'm glad he shared it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nancy Johnson wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I was hunting to the north of Ben's property, heard him shoot and went to see what he got. I helped him drag this deer into the field and commented "that is the biggest" doe I've ever seen. I helped him field dress the deer and was amazed at what we discovered! Never have I seen anything like this in all my hunting years!
Kevin Johnson

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Benjamin Johnson wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

thanks kevin! see ya out there next year!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nancy Johnson wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

You bet, Ben!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from M. Kepler wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Way to go Ben!

I would like to ask the Wildlife Biologist expert if he would consider the possibility that the Doe could have been carrying fetuses that were in the process of mummification. This is most often seen in twin pregnancies and occurs in a number of similar domesticated grazing animals, so why not in a wild deer? Animals (and people at times) do not always expel a fetus that has died.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from small game sportsman wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

i was thinking that with two fawns in her, that it would be easy to tell. guess not. you learn something new everyday. didnt mean to insult anyone

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Benjamin Johnson wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

even up close she just looked like a huge doe... M.Kelper... thats what i was thinking... one day later my sister walked by the gut pile.. one fawn was gone(coyotes) the other was a dark brown color, hard, and looked like a dark leather! it still there as of 2 days ago!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Benjamin Johnson wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

even up close she just looked like a huge doe... M.Kelper... thats what i was thinking... one day later my sister walked by the gut pile.. one fawn was gone(coyotes) the other was a dark brown color, hard, and looked like a dark leather! it still there as of 2 days ago!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hljbjj wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Congrats on the doe, Ben. And to find something so out of the ordinary.....its just crazy. Knowing that the mom wasn't going to suffer over the winter makes the story even better. I'd be curious to know if this ever happened in another state? Too bad it couldn't be researched further with the fawns, but who would've thought it would be so rare?? Grandma definitely would've thought this was awesome!! :)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sue johnson wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Ben was so excited when he bagged this doe and sent me the pictures right away. i posted one of those photos in "User Photos" It shows the condition of the fawn(the other having been carried off)the following day, in it's rather mummified state.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from M. Kepler wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

The Doe would have been fine through the Winter and beyond. Unless she bred again of course, if it was possible. The expired fetuses would not have decomposed or 'rotted', they would have essentially become dehydrated and calcified through natural body processes. Since there would not be bacteria present to cause decomposition the Doe should not have been affected. (From what I have found anyway.)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ITHACASXS wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

While I have no anti-hunters in my family, this would break both my daughter's hearts. I couldn't tell them if I shot this doe,which I certainly would have.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from DannoWV wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

You can tell small game sportsman is just that, a small game hunter. First it is hard to tell a doe is pregnant and who would even think to look if a doe was pregnant in rifle season. Do you look to see if squirrels are pregnant?

With that said, this is very strange in deed. I hope they study this more. She had to be in heat in June. A buck doesn't have to be in rut to breed, he just needs a doe to be in heat.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

All - Jeez folks, think you're being hard enough on Small Game Sportsman? I mean he obviously had a "blonde moment" but -13...come on, we're better than that.

Small Game Sportsman - Given that this is a very rare scenario, and does are usually fat going into winter, there was absolutely no way to tell that this animal was pregnant until it was field dressed.

Benjamin Johnson - Thank you for sharing this very rare and very unusual story with us!

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Benjamin Johnson wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

never in a million year would i have guessed she had fawns in her....yes they were dead and have been for some time. Their hair was almost all rubbed off. There we hair balls floating in the womb... only a few spots still had hair as you can see in the photo(the chest and upper front shoulders). there wasn't any abnormal smell durn dressing either. The doe was 168lbs. dressed.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from small game sportsman wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

i was thinking that with two fawns in her, that it would be easy to tell. guess not. you learn something new everyday. didnt mean to insult anyone

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

the fawns would not have made it either way, december and january are way to cold and food for the doe would be very scarce. it is very confusing and interesting..

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from M. Kepler wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Way to go Ben!

I would like to ask the Wildlife Biologist expert if he would consider the possibility that the Doe could have been carrying fetuses that were in the process of mummification. This is most often seen in twin pregnancies and occurs in a number of similar domesticated grazing animals, so why not in a wild deer? Animals (and people at times) do not always expel a fetus that has died.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Jager wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

He obviously thought it was impossible for the doe to be pregnant so late in the year.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from mike f 1980 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

This is a very intresting story. If the the fawns were still born and she did not expelled the fetuses. The doe would have suffered and died. I feel he did the deer a favor.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nikki Voss wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Hey, I know Ben, his sister took this photograph, I'm glad she did too. It's amazing and could hardly believe it myself. But can tell you that there isn't any IF about it. The Fawns were still born. This is extremely rare, and he's one that has always been careful about what deer he shoots, and watching to make sure the herd isn't too small on his land. He's a good guy, hunts to feed his family and has made history with this doe. I'm glad he shared it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nikki Voss wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Hey, I know Ben, his sister took this photograph, I'm glad she did too. It's amazing and could hardly believe it myself. But can tell you that there isn't any IF about it. The Fawns were still born. This is extremely rare, and he's one that has always been careful about what deer he shoots, and watching to make sure the herd isn't too small on his land. He's a good guy, hunts to feed his family and has made history with this doe. I'm glad he shared it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nancy Johnson wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I was hunting to the north of Ben's property, heard him shoot and went to see what he got. I helped him drag this deer into the field and commented "that is the biggest" doe I've ever seen. I helped him field dress the deer and was amazed at what we discovered! Never have I seen anything like this in all my hunting years!
Kevin Johnson

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntnow wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Very interesting story. I would imagine these fawns would not have survived anyway though, being born in winter. Likely they would have starved or been killed by a predator.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Benjamin Johnson wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

even up close she just looked like a huge doe... M.Kelper... thats what i was thinking... one day later my sister walked by the gut pile.. one fawn was gone(coyotes) the other was a dark brown color, hard, and looked like a dark leather! it still there as of 2 days ago!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hljbjj wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Congrats on the doe, Ben. And to find something so out of the ordinary.....its just crazy. Knowing that the mom wasn't going to suffer over the winter makes the story even better. I'd be curious to know if this ever happened in another state? Too bad it couldn't be researched further with the fawns, but who would've thought it would be so rare?? Grandma definitely would've thought this was awesome!! :)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from M. Kepler wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

The Doe would have been fine through the Winter and beyond. Unless she bred again of course, if it was possible. The expired fetuses would not have decomposed or 'rotted', they would have essentially become dehydrated and calcified through natural body processes. Since there would not be bacteria present to cause decomposition the Doe should not have been affected. (From what I have found anyway.)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ITHACASXS wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

While I have no anti-hunters in my family, this would break both my daughter's hearts. I couldn't tell them if I shot this doe,which I certainly would have.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Benjamin Johnson wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

thanks kevin! see ya out there next year!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nancy Johnson wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

You bet, Ben!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Benjamin Johnson wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

even up close she just looked like a huge doe... M.Kelper... thats what i was thinking... one day later my sister walked by the gut pile.. one fawn was gone(coyotes) the other was a dark brown color, hard, and looked like a dark leather! it still there as of 2 days ago!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from sue johnson wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Ben was so excited when he bagged this doe and sent me the pictures right away. i posted one of those photos in "User Photos" It shows the condition of the fawn(the other having been carried off)the following day, in it's rather mummified state.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from small game sportsman wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

If the doe is that far into the pregnancy, it would be pretty obvious. Why shoot it?

-14 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

bmxbiz-fs