Whitetail Doe With Odd Growth

As a wildlife photographer, I am constantly amazed by the beauty and distinctiveness of each animal I encounter. Recently, while observing a group of Whitetail Does feeding in a field, I came across a peculiar sight—a Doe with an unusual growth on its jawline. This reminded me of a similar encounter I had in 2009 at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. Intrigued by these occurrences, I delved deeper into the subject and learned about Fibromatosis, a skin disease that affects Whitetail Deer.

Whitetail Doe With Growth On Jaw
Whitetail Doe With Growth On Jaw

Fibromatosis: A Mysterious Condition:
Fibromatosis is a common skin disease found in Whitetail Deer, although its exact cause remains unknown. It is believed that the condition may be transmitted through biting insects or contaminated vegetation, but further research is needed to establish conclusive evidence. This mysterious disease manifests as fibrous tumors or growths on the deer’s skin, typically appearing on areas such as the jawline, neck, and legs. While these growths are generally benign and do not pose a significant threat to the deer’s health, they can alter their appearance and make them easily distinguishable within a herd.

Whitetail Doe With Odd Growth
Whitetail Doe With Odd Growth

The Fascination for Wildlife Photographers and Researchers:
Fibromatosis in Whitetail Deer presents a captivating topic for both wildlife photographers and researchers alike. By capturing and studying these unique occurrences, we can contribute to a deeper understanding of this condition while promoting the conservation of these magnificent creatures. Each photograph holds the potential to shed light on the disease’s prevalence, characteristics, and impact on deer populations.

My Encounter and the Shot:
I was driving west through the 4-corners intersection when I spotted the Doe in my first photo. She was leisurely grazing on the side of the road, providing an ideal opportunity. I quickly pulled over, skillfully positioning myself to capture the moment from the open window of my pickup truck. Equipped with my trusted Fujifilm X-T3 camera and Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens, along with a Fringer EF-FX Pro adapter, I meticulously captured the intricacies of this fascinating encounter.

Fibromatosis in Whitetail Deer continues to intrigue wildlife photographers and researchers alike. By documenting and studying these unusual growths, we contribute to the broader knowledge and conservation efforts surrounding these remarkable animals. These encounters not only provide captivating photographic opportunities but also offer valuable insights into the enigmatic world of wildlife.

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