Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ashtabula County deer hunter shoots rare antlered doe

Paul Skvarek of Sheffield Township shot what almost no other Ohio deer hunter has even ever seen, much less killed.

On Monday’s firearms deer-hunting season opener, Skvarek killed a 10-point deer. However, the animal was not a buck but rather a doe.

Such animals are called “hermaphrodites” and are uncommon to the point of being rare, state wildlife officials say.

“It’s a big deer, too,” Skvarek said. “The funny thing was we didn’t even know what it’s sex was until after we got home and went to field dress it. The officials at the check station didn’t look, either - just taking photos because it had a nice rack.”

Skvarek was hunting behind his home when he shot the animal. He used an older Remington Model 1100 semi-automatic shotgun and fitted with 4-power telescopic sights.

Since the shotgun is a smoothbore, Skvarek uses Foster-style rifled slugs instead of the newer sabot-type slugs. Foster-style slugs were never noted for their accuracy, however.

“My son, Jesse, shot an eight-point about two hours earlier and we were busy taking care of that deer before we went back out,” Skvarek said also. “We were in our tree stand - which is about 20 feet up - for less than two minutes and still catching our breath when the deer came.”

The big-rack doe was moving at a pretty good clip, too, when the animal was shot about 15 yards from the stand, Skvarek said.

“It was with two other deer, which also were does,” he said.

As for getting the head mounted, Skvarek says there’s no debate. A mount of the antlered doe will grace a wall in one of his home’s rooms.

“My son is going to do a skull mount of his rack; which was the first buck he’s ever shot,” Skvarek said.

Ohio Division of Wildlife biologist Scott Peters says that an antlered doe is unusual - even “highly unusual.”

“Common sense tells me it’s a matter of genetics,” Peters said.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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