Ever seen a Pibald deer?

1:02 a.m. on June 6, 2008 (EDT)
170 reviewer rep
99 forum posts

Well, at work the other day, I saw what I at first took to be an albino whitetail deer. It actually tuns out to be a "Piebald" deer. Here is what one looks like.
http://www.kostich.com/piebald_deer.htm The one I saw is pure white with a brown stripe running from it's forehead to 3/4 down its backbone. Kinda like a horses mane. Gorgeous. So has anyone seen one before? I hadn't even known that they existed. There is also a deer even more rare than an albino whitetail, a black whitetail deer. Anyone ever see one of these rarities on a hiking or camping trip? OR anywhere?

[Edited by Dave: let's not go down that road]

7:24 a.m. on June 6, 2008 (EDT)
110 reviewer rep
762 forum posts

Old english: Pie (black) bald (white)

Many species of animals exhibit the piebald phenom. This condition is actually leucism, which is a reduction in all pigmentation, not just melanin as is the case with albinism. Species such as rats, horses, snakes, and many others of this pigmentation are pretty common. 1 in 10 animals can exhibit some form of this trait. Humans can have it too.

I've only ever seen one piebald deer alive in the wild, but we had a full body mount buck on loan to us for about a year at our environmental education center. http://www.carboneec.org We also had a live (wild caught) albino black rat snake, and a piebald chipmunk at the same time! Both were released unharmed.

On reason piebald animals aren't often seen, other than their rarety in general, is because in the wild, piebald and albino animals generally don't live as long as typically colored animals. It's harder for them to hide from predators and/or prey, and they die off early.

In days gone by, native americans and hunters wouldn't kill lightly pigmented animals for sport. From what I understand, the Native americans thought of them as "Spirit Animals", and (most) hunters just thought it was bad luck, and poor sport. Many sportsmen today still maintain these values.

8:32 a.m. on June 6, 2008 (EDT)
1,663 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

Hey guys, Haven't seen one myself, I know a hunter who has. I have seen white squirrels in and around Brevard NC. I enjoyed both your links. I use to be a volunteer at an animal rehab center in Tennessee, I really enjoyed my time there. More people should give it a try.

12:09 p.m. on June 6, 2008 (EDT)
4,404 reviewer rep
6,005 forum posts

One of our local parks, Mt. Madonna County Park near Gilroy, has a herd of white deer. There was a lot of worry during the recent (almost extinguished now) Summit Fire about the safety of the herd. The herd has been kept in a large fenced area (plenty of room for them to roam) for a number of years now to protect them. But obviously, when there is a wildfire, fencing works just the opposite way. These are not native, but are fallow deer. They are descended from a pair given to the park by Hearst in 1934. http://www.gilroydispatch.com/news/contentview.asp?c=233856

f_klock is correct that Native Americans thought of them as Spirit Animals (most of my first 14 years was spent growing up on a reservation).

12:19 p.m. on June 7, 2008 (EDT)
1,663 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

My kids have reminded me that we saw some white fallow deer in Rock City, located on historic Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We lived there for a number of years.
Here's the link:

April 22, 2018
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: Ultralight backpacking...good foods to take? Newer: StevetheFolkie
All forums: Older: La Sportiva Spantiks Newer: Camelbak Suggestions?