A turkey hunter in Tennessee recently captured video footage of a rare albino deer.
Brothers Luke and Grayson Crow told the local ABC news station that they were hunting turkeys when they came across a family of deer. But one of them was conspicuously colored white.
Albinism is caused by a congenital disorder that results in the lack of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes. In animals such as deer, the condition can be hereditary. Biologists believe that albino deer occur in one out of every 20,000 to 100,000 births.
Last year, two hunters on separate occasions faced intense criticism for bagging an albino deer. After 11-year-old Gavin Dingman shot and killed an albino deer with a bow and arrow in Michigan in October 2014, his father posted a photo of the boy with the deer to Facebook. To his surprise, the boy received harsh comments and even death threats.
Jordan Browne, a host of Michigan Out-of-Doors Television, spoke to Patch.com on behalf of the family at the time.
“It’s one thing to disagree with the decision to shoot this buck, but to target an 11-year-old will not be tolerated,” he said. “Anti-hunters seem to think they just walked out of the sky and are God’s gift to mankind, but it’s just a genetic defect.”
Another bow hunter, Jerry Kinnaman, downed an albino deer in Missouri in December 2014 to also face criticism and threats. The deer it turns out was something of a community mascot as people would often see it around town and think of it as a blessing. But Kinnaman told the Washington Post that the deer was not in good shape. It’s weight was down and his teeth were not healthy. According to his taxidermist, Kinnaman said the deer would not have survived another year.
Albino deer should not be confused with the notorious white deer at the Seneca Army Depot in New York. Unlike albino deer, the white deer at Seneca have retained their brown eyes and their white color as hereditary trait. The deer were allowed to breed without the threat of hunters for several decades.