My 2 cents, for what it is worth.
If you cut the tendons located on the front side of the lowest ball joint on a deer's front leg, the result is EXACTLY what you see in the photo. Without tendons on the front side connected, the deer cannot pull the hoof forward to its normal position. But if the rear tendons at the back of the lowest ball joint are still intact, then those tendons will contract the hoof backwards after the front tendons are cut, like you see in the photo. So, in my opinion, the front tendons on the forward side of the lower ball joint were cut in some way, likely very shortly after birth.
This could have happened easily to a very young fawn whose tendons are soft and easily damaged. The deer could have cut the tendon on a fence barb trying to free it if the foot got caught in the fence. Possibly even something like a dog or yote could have manged to grab the foot and bite through the tendons as the deer escaped.
The problem with a deer getting hurt like this is that there is no surgeon to reconnect the tendons and, if not reconnected, they will not grow back on their own. It's the same if the deer were to have broken the ball joint somehow. Without putting a broken ball joint into a cast, it would not heal back in a normal position. Once injured, the deer has no choice but to let the hoof dangle and grow back in an abnormal position. With the rear tendons intact, but the front ones cut, the hoof would remain in the "pulled back" position forever. The deer has no way to pull it back forward and therefore cannot put any weight on that hoof.
If the injury happened after the deer reached an adult size, then the opposite shoulder would not be abnormally positioned. It would look normal and the deer would merely look like it had a broken lower joint. But if the injury happened very early in a baby fawn's life, the deer's opposite leg would have had to bear more weight for the deer's entire life and it grow larger than normal to compensate. Due to the deer having to bend forward awkwardly to eat every day, the weight of the deer's body would pull down on the opposite shoulder ligaments and produce something deformed like you see. But even though deformity occurs as the opposite leg compensates for the load it must bear, everything still works like it should. And as we all know, animals with three legs instead of four can still walk and even run.
If this deer could be captured, chances are a vet could pin the injured hoof and reconstruct the joint, restoring a degree of normal use to the leg.
So, does the loss of use of a single foot and an abnormal looking, but functionally workable, protruding opposite shoulder justify whacking the deer? No, I don't think it does. We don't shoot anything just because it has a handicap. Deer are no different.
This is a 1.5 year old spike buck. He has survived just fine for that length of time and is only beginning to grow antlers. Ok, call me sadistic but I'd let him hobble (
) for a couple more years and see how his rack turns out. Cull him for a poor rack later on if you want but I say don't cull him for an "assumed" level of pain or difficulty in his life. He is healthy, functional, and, for all we know, happy. Why kill him for a deformity that is not life threatening, probably is not hereditary, and which may not affect his rack?
When it comes to wildlife management, I feel there needs to be a decent reason to kill. It's hardly "for sport" to kill a crippled animal, so if the reason is not for sport, what is the reason? Because the deer looks peculiar? Does anyone really "know" this deer is in misery and suffering every single day of his life? Or do we just think that because he looks abnormal he must be suffering and miserable?
Finally, I have to point out this deer is not a legal deer to shoot unless you can kill it under special tagging for cull bucks, crop destruction, or something similar.