Unassuming buck has ancestral trait
While working on deer heads for his skull mounting business, Molideaux Mounts, Reagan Dupree, 13, made a rather unusual find. A buck harvested by his uncle, Sam Dupree, in Natchitoches Parish had fangs. This rare genetic phenomenon is a throwback to the whitetail’s Asian ancestors.
Only appearing in one of every 20,000 whitetails, these upper jaw canines seem to only make their rare appearances in bucks. The black patches on a modern whitetail’s lower jaw are located exactly where the fangs would have stuck out from the upper jaw in ancestral deer.
Theorists say those patches may have been there to accentuate the white of the ivory canines. The fangs have evolved away, but the patches remain.