Photo of buck with three antlers goes viral

A photo of a three-antlered buck, taken by Steve Lindberg, is becoming a viral story around the world.

MARQUETTE — It was just a normal day when former State Representative Steve Lindberg took the now–famous photo of a three-antlered buck while out on a walk with his dog last weekend.

Lindberg says he takes a photo a day to upload onto his Facebook page, but when he took the picture of this particular buck he didn’t even realize how rare it was.

“So I got home and I put the pictures up on my computer, and I looked, and I said, ‘What is this?'” Lindberg said. “So I looked at another picture, and I had different perspectives. I said, ‘This is a three-antlered deer! This isn’t just an atypical rack, this is this deer has three separate antlers coming out of its’ head.’ I had never seen that before, it was pretty unusual, so I put it up as my picture of the day on Facebook.”

Lindberg posted the photo on his Facebook, where it receives several likes and shares on the platform, and then he was contacted by the Detroit Free Press. They wanted to talk to him and use the photo, and it started to spread online.

After that, speculation has grown around the picture. People have been debating how the deer grew a third antler, or if the picture is even a genuine picture.

Brian Roell, a Wildlife Biologist with the Michigan DNR, said that the buck looked healthy in the photos but that doesn’t answer the question. He said that an injury to the pedestal where the antlers grow, or even severe damage to the body, can cause antlers to grow atypically.

“How it happened, well, we just don’t know,” said Roell. “My guess is probably an injury at a very young, although it could be a genetic thing as well. We just don’t know, but I think it’s a little more likely that something happened to that deer at a very young age that split that pedestal that’s allowing it to grow.”

While the photo has gained a lot of traction in the region, the reach that it’s had has been global. Lindberg has received calls and media requests from roughly 40 different media outlets in several different countries, including the Washington Post, Fox News, the BBC, and CBC.

Lindberg said he’s had a crazy few days since the photo went viral, something he never expected, and he’s still surprised about the whole situation.

“How quickly it spread, how wide it spread…” said Lindberg. “I mean, you know, when you get a call from the London Times, it’s like, ‘whoa, what’s going on here?’ Why is this a story that the Times wants? Or the Washington Post for that matter?” 

Lindberg will not be disclosing the location where he took the picture to respect the private property owners in the area, and because he hopes the deer makes it through the hunting season.