"While I was waiting, I never even touched the deer," Whipkey said. "Dad showed up in about 15 or 20 minutes. That's when we discovered my buck was really a doe.
"We decided we'd probably better get some pictures to document what we had found. I called the DNR even before I took my knife out of its sheath. That's when I was told it was a hermaphrodite."
The deer was doubly unusual because it had polished antlers. When does grow antlers, they ordinarily remain in velvet. Whipkey's doe had gone through the buck-like ritual of rubbing the velvet off on trees and polishing its headgear as if to prepare for the rut.
When Whipkey brought his kill to the game-checking station at Smith's Hardware in Big Chimney, it created a bit of a stir.
"The guy at the checking station asked if I'd killed a buck or a doe," he said. "I told him I wasn't sure, and that he should come and see for himself. He thought we were nuts, but then we flipped the deer over and he said, 'Well, all right then.'"
Whipkey decided not to have a mount made of his kill.
"I saved the antlers as a reminder, and I have the pictures," he said. "It's fun to have a story like this to tell and have the evidence to back it up."
The final memento of the unusual kill isn't nearly as permanent, but is no less enjoyable.
"I've made two batches of jerky out of that deer, and it tastes just fine," Whipkey said.
Reach John McCoy at 304-348-1231 or johnmc...@wvgazette.com.