As a wildlife photographer, I was on the lookout for interesting subjects to capture when I spotted this young Whitetail Buck at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. I was immediately drawn to the hair loss around its neck area and wondered what could be causing this condition.

Buck With Hair Loss

Buck With Hair Loss

My first thought was that the Buck had mange, but upon closer inspection, I didn’t see any thickening of the skin or redness in that area, which are common symptoms of mange. I was curious to find out more and so I did some research when I got back home.

I came across several scientific studies that stated that hair loss in deer can be caused by rubbing and chewing on fur infested with lice, an infestation of muscle worms, or a faulty immune system. I also read that ticks could be a factor as well, given their high populations in the area.

In my opinion, based on my observation, I believe that the Buck was trying to remove ticks. Although I only saw one tick on its velvet antler, I could tell that the deer had other places with ticks. I know that deer lick and groom each other, especially around the neck and shoulders, and this grooming process helps remove ticks.

With my Fujifilm X-T3 camera and Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens attached to a Fringer EF-FX Pro, I was able to capture some images of this Buck as it crossed the road in front of my pickup truck. I braced my camera on the truck and snapped a few shots without disturbing the deer.

What do you think about this Whitetail Buck with hair loss? Leave a comment or share your thoughts on Facebook. As a wildlife photographer, I’m always curious about the stories behind the animals I capture and love to hear different perspectives.

Camera Settings

  • AV Mode
  • Aperture: f5.6
  • ISO: 2000
  • Shutter speed: 1/350 of a second
  • Focal Length: 400 mm

Here are a couple of photos I took of Whitetail Deer with a strange growth: Whitetail Doe With Odd Growth