by Aimee Levitt
The Missouri Department of Conservation is super-dope these days. First there's the bidness with the gender-bending deer, which is totally down with the brave new world of ambiguous sexuality. And then there's the winter rap, yo! Or should we say, doe!
The MDC gets minor props for the first line of its press release about the deer by referencing "Lola" by the Kinks -- about gender-bending, yes, but an older song and not obscure enough to please the hipsters and, dude, it ain't no rap. But the deer -- the deer...
During this fall's near-record deer shootout, hunters came across five female deer with antlers. If you've ever seen Bambi, you will know this is not normal. One of the deer was a full ten-pointer, another a nine-pointer. That's some serious antler-age. The MCD consulted its deer specialist, who has three possible theories:
1. The female deer have a lot of extra testosterone, probably because of a hormonal imbalance. If they were human, they'd have an embarrassing amount of body and facial hair and a close relationship with their waxer. Because they're deer, they get antlers. Which is way cooler.
2. The deer are actually dudes, but their male genitalia, for whatever reason, are hidden under the skin or inside the body. Have you ever read Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides? It's kind of like that, except there doesn't seem to be any data about the psychological trauma experienced by deer who grow up thinking they're does and turn out to be bucks.
3. The deer are honest-to-goodness hermaphrodites.
According to MDC scientist and deer expert Emily Flinn, female deer with antlers aren't as rare as one might expect. In some parts of the U.S., they appear as frequently as 1 in 65. On the other hand, in other places, they appear as infrequently as 1 in 4,437. Flinn adds that it's unclear how many she-male deer live in Missouri because the MDC has to rely on reports from hunters as opposed to a serious deer census.
"It seems likely that some are field-dressed without the hunters noticing the anatomical oddities," she said in a press release. "If you shoot an antlered deer, you're pretty much going to assume it's a buck. If it's early or late in the day, you might field dress it without noticing the presence or absence of some anatomical oddities."
While you think about that, or if you decide to take to the woods to look for antlered female deer yourself, take along this bit of entertainment written and performed by Jefferson City's very own Shareiff Robinson. Or, as the MDC website puts it, "Enjoy this rap tune for chillin' in Missouri's great outdoors during the winter holidays." Doe!