In the rugged terrain of Granite Falls, Minnesota, Chase Mortenson, a sharp-eyed hunter from Madison, scored a legendary kill last Sunday on his uncle’s property – a whitetail buck so rare it’s now dubbed the “unicorn buck.” What sets this majestic creature apart? A third beam jutted out from its forehead, giving it an otherworldly allure.
Mortenson, initially thought he’d missed his shot, but to his surprise, he found the prized buck just a stone’s throw from his stand – a testament to his keen hunting skills on the last day of Minnesota’s rifle deer season.
Mortenson shared a snapshot of the buck to Facebook, showcasing its robust main beams adorned with five tines on the right and three on the left. The third beam, a powerhouse in itself, forks into two equal-sized tines, adding to the mystique.
While antlers sprouting from a buck’s face isn’t an unheard-of phenomenon, Mortenson’s unicorn buck takes the cake. Similar tales of oddities include Davey Stuckey’s encounter with a buck sporting a 9-inch drop tine and a 2-inch antler growing from its tear duct in Ohio on October 31, 2022, and Carson Reeve’s shot of a triple-beamed buck in Minnesota on November 6, 2022.
The mystery behind antlers growing inches away from the main beams remains, adding a touch of intrigue to the story. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources sheds some light, attributing it to a buck’s hormones allowing antlers to sprout wherever a pedicle can take root.