What likely causes brown marks on a buck’s back?

By Grant Woods,

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← Grant's AnswersDeer Biology
Hello Grant,
While skinning deer this weekend I noticed a mark on their back, under the skin, on top of the white fat. It’s brownish in color and looks almost like a tire tread mark. I’ve notice it on deer before but never thought anything of it. What is this mark!


If the mark was close the the shoulders I suspect it’s a bruise fighting.  Bucks often get pushed backwards, etc., and their antlers or the antlers of another deer strike their back around the shoulders.  Did you happen to notice if the muscle was bruised also?  

Enjoy creation,