What are the specifics of the proposed Pauns study? Without the right reference information it may be difficult to ascertain anything valuable ie. anything that could bring change. Which I hate to say, seems to almost be the goal some times.
the Pauns is a good place to start, you have a few specific phenotypes, and it is pretty localized.
But depending on what you are trying to find out, you need to have a good plan in place. The specifics of Pauns cactus bucks has changed over the years. You use to see very specific cases like this buck: http://westernwildlifeecology.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/maxresdefault.jpg
In this case you are looking at some very specific epigenetic expression and epigenetic patterning. Where as much of what I have been seeing lately, like what has been posted on this thread, is probably the result of very related issues, but by different pathways.
When you are looking at abnormal antler growth, you have to classify it into at least three distinct categories. 1) Congenital via sex differentiating genes such as Sox9. 2) Congenital via endocrinological disruption, such as Shh disruption, which is just more nuanced and direct from the first type. and 3) exposure later in life which tends to express via simple testicular atrophy. Regardless, these all influence the Ihh gene/s that pattern antlers.
The specifics of this matter because it can tell you what you are looking for, if you don't already know. One of the differences between the congenital varieties is whether or not you are looking at sex determining genes(patterning) or more basic endocrinological disruption where something like an estrogenic mimic has simply disrupted morphogenesis. An example of what estrogenic disruption can look like would be cryptorchidism, like what is seen in Kodiak island black tailed: http://westernwildlifeecology.org/kodiak/
Although this case upon further review with the researcher has a greater epigentic component, the abnormal antlers are caused by the cryptorchidism and associated testicular issues ie. testosterone. Where as congenital cases that involve sex determining genes and activation of hedge hog genes can express very similarly in antlers, but have different underlying etiologies. Specifically the testicles are not cryptorchid, but rather "misaligned"(genetically mispattened) with varying degrees of other reproductive organ malformation, such as very short penises and misplaced nipples. Because of the association of other very related genes and epigenetic pathways, you many times see allot of asymmetric antler and testicular development. This can get complicated when you see the same sort of thing with bilateral cyrptorchidism, which may be more related to these later malformations of sex determining genes I am explaining right now, that look more like the deer at the top of the page here: http://rutalocura.com/deer3
Then you have things like testicular atrophy, which can be brought on later in life via pesticide exposure. There is no genetic component here, but the way this may play out in antler development, may look very much like the antler dysgenesis expressed by deer with congenital abnormalities.
Different compounds, used at different times, and in different combinations, dictate how this plays out. Which is important if you are looking to actually fix this.
Regardless, all of these can be caused by pesticide exposure, or other estrogenic compounds(You show me what those are). The Pauns intrigues me because I have not zeroed in on the source. I found it for Kodiak island, and several other places, I am running much of it down in Yellowstone right now. Just a preview: http://westernwildlifeecology.org/yellowstone/