They are supposed to be rare, but albino and white deer are showing up quite a lot this year. This video sent in by a viewer to WKRN-TV even shows a buck with what appears to be white velvet. The unique deer was discovered near Franklin, Tennessee, and it was probably not the only one in the area.
Local viewers responded to the video of the strange buck by posting pictures of their own encounters with white or albino deer on Facebook. Yet experts told The Tennessean last year that only about 7 to 35 albino deer exist in the entire state.
The odds of a whitetail deer being born albino differ depending on who you talk to, but many biologists say that about one out of 100,000 are born with the condition.
“They stand out like a sore thumb,” said Rick Frawley, a hunter who saw an albino deer around this time last year. “I would have never seen the one I saw… if it had been a regular deer. It was at the crack of daylight and it was in the thicket and looked like it was glowing.”
As bright a target it made, Frawley did not harvest the animal. It is a misdemeanor in Tennessee to kill albino deer. Some hunters and conservationists disagree with this law, since albino deer have a host of health problems that make it difficult for the animals to survive in the wild, and some biologists say that the deer are inferior genetic stock. In other states, such as Michigan, it is legal to harvest albino deer.
Still, it was a pleasant experience for Frawley and not one that he will forget soon—and neither will most people who have the opportunity to see one of these unique animals.
Image screenshot from Facebook