A mate of mine recently shot this buck in Cumbria. Pictures taken while he was halfway through cleaning off the head.
The beast was in good overall condition and acting normally prior to shot. The injury only became apparent on skinning out the head.
Initial thoughts were the usual poachers rimmy gone wrong. However on further reflection, we've thought otherwise. No bullet was recovered and there was no injury to the lower jaw etc as the buck could obviously feed naturally. Whatever did it must only have punctured the bone and not gone on to penetrate much deeper.
My thoughts, given the "scrapes" both above and below the main puncture, are that the injury was inflicted by the antler of another buck.
Any thoughts, comments, theories appreciated.