Piebald Deer

Piebald deer are a beautiful, but rare sight, that many of us will never be fortunate enough to see, let alone get a shot at!

piebald deer, a regular whitetail deer and a piebald deer

A piebald Whitetail has spotted, blotchy, or white patches of fur where there should be brown fur instead.

This odd coloring can range from very small, random amounts of misplaced white fur to the whole deer being almost solid white.

Even if they are almost completely white, the piebald still has brown eyes, a brown nose, and black hooves, unlike a true albino Whitetail deer.

A true albino has pink eyes, a pink nose, and greyish colored hooves.

It is a genetic defect in the piebald, that produces this splotchy discoloration, and the inherited trait comes from a defective, recessive gene.

Studies show that one in every 2,000 to 3,000 Whitetails, will have this color variation, although it may be more common in areas where they are protected.

piebald deer, a piebald whitetail deer

Though a piebald is considered fair game, and a highly prized trophy in its own right, there are a few groups that try to keep them from being harvested, due to their rarity.

Along with the discoloration, a piebald may also have many various defects.

These defects can include shorter legs, an arching spine, a bowing of the nose, heart defects, and other internal deformities.

Besides the possible health defects they may have, they can also be an easy target for various predators, due to their inability to camouflage well.

Though piebald are rare, they are more common than the white, albino, or the extremely rare melanistic deer.

Melanism is an unusually dark coloration of fur caused by a high concentration of melanin. Melanin is what produces the pigment for coloring in skin, hair, fur, and so on.

An over production of melanin causes them to have very dark patches on their coats, and can even cause a totally black coat, including the places that would normally be white. Almost as if you were looking at a live silhouette!

Melanistic Whitetail deer are extremely rare.

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