I was wondering if anyone could give me thoughts about this buck I shot this morning please?
He's a fairly scrawny looking thing that I'd been planning to take out before the rut since I saw him first a few weeks ago on my trail cam. He hasn't shed his winter coat fully, and hadn't fully frayed his antlers off. He seemed to be behaving pretty normally though as far as I could tell before I shot him, although he couldn't see me at 40m stood in a clearing in the woods, but this may be just be because I was stationary and wearing face veil etc. He is skinnier than I was expecting, had a fair few ticks but probably not much more than normal. His teeth look shot - there are no teeth in the top of his mouth and only the ones in the photo at the front in the lower jaw. His antlers are fairly poor and seem to be leaning back. Internally seemed ok to me - I can't remember enough from my DSC1 to fully check all the lymph nodes etc but liver was perfect and all the rest of it looked ok. There was however on the inside of one side of the ribs a swelling in the muscle that when cut open had a what I can only describe as a clear gel in it.
What's going on here, was he just old and coming to the end of his life anyway or something more sinister? Ok for eating?