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Piebald deer photo by Carl R. Sams II: Have you ever seen a white deer?


Piebald deer photo by Carl R. Sams II.

The piebald deer photo above was taken by Carl on Orcas Island, Washington. Have you ever seen a piebald deer?

I spotted a piebald deer in the Manistee National Forest in northwest lower Michigan near Mesick a few years ago. It was quite a surprise to discover it as it walked through the thick woods.

About Piebald Deer
According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, a piebald deer, sometimes called a calico or pinto deer, is a deer with a inherited genetic trait. The piebald anomaly ranges from a very slight amount of white hair to almost totally white coats.

Unlike true albinos, piebald deer have brown eyes and black hooves. The piebald condition is frequently associated with other harmful physical conditions, including skeletal and internal organ deformities. Piebald deer are rare, occurring at less than one percent of the population. 

The other kind of white deer are albinos. These deer are normal except for lacking the gene(s) for color. True albinos have pink eyes and white hooves. These deer are rare, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Please comment and let us know if you’ve seen a piebald deer.


{ 2 } Comments

  1. Mindy | January 14, 2013 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    A friend and I saw a white deer years ago (mid-1990s) on Orcas Island near Doe Bay. It looked to us completely white, though we only saw it for a moment before it ran off.

  2. Carl Sams | January 14, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Hi Minday,
    That’s great. How fun! Thank you.