Liquid on deer face

Submitted by John on 11/6/01. ( )

I have been doing taxidermy for about 15 years and every once in a while i come across a whitetail that has a fluid substance in the facial area,almost like an infection. The heads are always rather large and i was wondering if anyone knew what this was caused by and weather or not contagious to humans.

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Sounds like

This response submitted by Dan K on 11/6/01. ( )

they had it hanging by the rear legs. This lets body fluids drain into the head area. This can get to be a sloppy mess for the taxidermist. Work your way through it and salt good to drain off excess fluids, then continue fleshing.
Dan k


This response submitted by taxidermygirl on 11/6/01. ( )

I agree with Dan sounds like the hunter hung the deer up from the rear and the fluids drained into the face,I hang all my deer from the rear for aging seems to get the blood out of the back end where all the best meat is.

The only time I had this fluid build up is when I rinsed out a deer while hanging and trapped fluids in, now I rinse them on the ground before hanging.

It is called dependent edema in which fluids follow the path that gravity takes them. Occurs with any flesh, seen it in humans myself.
Could also be from inflammation to facial wounds/bruise/contusions from scrapping with another buck. Inflammation can also cause edema(fluid build-up) the bodies way of "coating wounds".

neither one would be of any concern for anyone handling the skin but protective wear ex. latex gloves should be worn whenever handling raw skins.


This response submitted by gordon c. on 11/6/01. ( )

could be the deer was caught in a snare! In this case it is called a water head by trappers( have seen this on snared predetors). But I bet taxigirl has it. Have seen this on some deer and that is what hunters did with carcase, hanged it up by back legs and filled the rib cage with H20 which migrated to head area.

dont forget

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 11/7/01. ( )

Deer during this time of year retain water, thats the swelling you see. I see it even on the live deer. I often get heads fresh out of the field that make a mess while caping due to this water.

rut season

This response submitted by Fitchett on 11/9/01. ( )

The buck was likely in rut.I have seen them come in fresh with eye almost shut from the swelling. I am a meatcutter too, so we see alot deer during the season.

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