Here’s something you don’t see every day. This is a piebald whitetail deer spotted today in the woods next to the Davidson College campus. Piebaldism is a recessive genetic trait that is found in animals where the gene responsible for hair, tissue, or skin coloration is missing. Studies show less than 2% of whitetails are piebald and they are pretty rare to come across but a true albino is even less likely. Unlike an albino deer where body pigment is totally absent a piebald deer can have varying amounts of white hair and can be almost pure white except small patches of regular brown hair or carry just patches of white hair with otherwise normal markings.
There is something mysterious and very intriguing about a white whitetail in the wild. Native Americans even believed they were magical and bad luck to kill. So if you see a flash of white during your walk in the woods, consider yourself one of the few.