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January 09, 2008

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Would You Shoot an Albino Buck?

I have deer hunted in Buffalo County, Wisconsin for over 20 years. Buffalo is a well-known destination for whitetail nuts, as it boasts more B&C and P&Y entries than any  county in the nation. I’ve traveled enough to say that there are probably more mature whitetails per square mile living there than anywhere I’ve been. I have also traveled enough to say there are few tougher places to kill a mature whitetail buck than Buffalo County.

What is less widely known about Buffalo Co. is that albino deer are fairly common there. In fact it’s entirely possible—after talking to the right people—to drive around some summer evening and see a pretty good wad of white deer feeding in soybean and alfalfa fields. While there’s no such thing as an ugly deer, albinos are a pretty darn special sight. The people of Wisconsin think they’re so special that you can get into big trouble for shooting one.

Of course, right across the Mississippi River from there is my home state of Minnesota. Kill a white deer here and you’ll get your picture in the paper, and not in the “district court report” section.  Protecting albinos is an interesting thing. Most of us know by now that these are genetically inferior deer that in most cases are poorly equipped to survive in the wild. Indeed, some of my Wisconsin friends have found albino bucks dying in the middle of summer from any of a host of diseases they’re susceptible to. Naturally, there are exceptions. About five years ago, I was hunting Buffalo and rattled in a 3-1/2 year old albino buck with an 8-point rack. That deer is still alive. He is now a monstrous 10-point with candelabra antlers that appear anything but genetically inferior.  People drive for miles to check him out, lining up along his favorite fields with spotting scopes sprouting from their truck windows.

This background made me perk up when reader Maurice King, from Mansfield, Ohio, sent us the accompanying photo. Maurice shot an albino buck with his crossbow this October, in a state where it is legal to do so, and he's proud of his unique trophy. It's the way we should all feel about every whitetail we decide to harvest.

Albino_deer_033

Naturally, this story got me to thinking about rattling in that beautiful white deer awhile back. Had that hunt occurred in Ohio (or indeed, my home state), where albinos are fair game, would I have shot the buck?  I have zero problem with states that allow albino deer to be shot. I also completely understand that some people couldn’t drop the hammer on such a deer. That said, I can honestly say that I don’t know what I’d do. But I bet some of you guys have stronger convictions—one way or the other—than I. So let’s hear ‘em.

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Comments

jstreet

If it's legal, yes.

Jim

josh from maine

a friend of mine that i hunt with says that he would not shoot an albino deer because he thinks it is bad luck and that he would never get another deer after shooting one. i think that is bull and if one walked in front of me i would definitely shoot it. It is hard enough to even see a deer in my area so if an albino one walked out i'm sure it would be its last day in the woods.

Tommy S.

Personally, I think I might pass, unless it was a REAL bruiser, like bigger than anything I would ever see - I don't know why.

Maybe because I live around very rich habitat, lined with dairy farms, and I see deer daily. As another poster above wrote about not seeing alot of deer. I see them most times I hunt; whether on gameland or private. NC is overrun with 'em!

I would have no problem with someone shooting an albino though.
It is a whitetail after all.

Later

Why would it even be illegal anywhere?

Wanda

Indian Legend is if you shoot an albino,you will have bad luck for 7 years and being superstitious,I might pass but not on a piebald...There is a difference.If they have any speck of brown on them,they are not albino and an albino has pink eyes.I have a piebald on our wall here that I shot as it ran through a field with 3 others who were regular colored.I could not let it pass.When I went to tag it ,every guy in the tagging station razzed me,saying I would have bad luck,never get a deer again,blah,blah,blah...the following year I got a 7 pointer! ha ha! Most piebald and albino run alot smaller than the norm.This deer I shot was 7 years old ,had no teeth left and weighed only 80 lbs.The biologist who looked at her told me she would have not survived another winter ,so I am glad I got her...plus I weeded out the bad gene as most would call it.

MidnightBanjo

"White Deer
It is unlawful to kill a white deer without specific written permission of the Department Director."

Oklahoma regs - illegal here without permission - don't know why don't care. I'd just shoot it with the camera! Get a real trophy that way!

Mike Diehl

Why not? Isn't it "the other white meat"?

Wanda

Each state has its own laws but I would hope before anyone hunts anything,they would be checking on it .Ignorance is No Excuse for the Law in my book;-)

Scott

If in fact we all agree that albino are genetically inferior including overall health, I see know reason why we shouldn't be allowed to harvest albinos in WI.
To that end, I would make my decision to harvest an albino like any other whitetail. I'd want to know he was three years old and I'd want him to be solid pope and young.

Dennis

Shoot him definately. Up here in ontario it is illegal to shoot white moose in some WMU's.

Blue Ox

I would tag him in a heartbeat.

Bubba

Hey Midnight Banjo

Been trying to run you down. Are you familiar with the Waurika WMA?

Yeah, you have to have "permission" to kill a "white" deer.

"Yes, ma'am. This here is Bubba. I got this here white deer in front of me I want to shoot. Who do I need to talk to? Tell 'em to hurry, he's walking away!"

Awesome reason to carry a cell phone hunting! Just another gizmo to tote around!

Bubba

Bubba

Midnight

I'm not sure, but I think it's due to a Native American thing about killing white/albino animals!

Bubba

John D

I don't believe in luck. I do, however, believe in eating venison and putting horns on the wall. If the buck was big enough to get killt as a brown deer, he damn sure would get killt as a white deer.

I too, am from Oklahoma and would definitely FEDX my formal letter of request to the Director immediately following the hunt.

007

I probably wouldn't unless it was a real monster. Dad (now deceased) always said that if you kill a white one you won't kill another deer for seven years and while I'm not superstitious (or is it stupidstitious?) I'd probably decline out of respect for his memory. Too, they aren't that special to me, we've seen them around home from time to time as far back as I can remember and in the eyes of they law in our state they're just another deer.

tim

I live next to the Father Hennipen State Park here in Mn. where Mary Rakotz shot the 6 point albino buck this year(2007). She maybe got her picture in the paper but with that came alot of nasty names and even death threats! If I see the trophy albino buck, I'm "trippin' the trigger"! Being a life long resident to this area may mean I'll may have to obtain a conceal to carry permit though.

Ralph the Rifleman

If it were legal here in Michigan, heck yes I would shoot it!

John Moore

If it is leagal I would have no problem taking an Albino deer. I would have a full body mount ($600.00) done and put that deer in the Taxidermist Shop along with all of his other beautiful animals he allows people to enjoy. Located near Milford Kansas a worthwhile stop if you are near!! (R & R Taxidermy) He has done several record deer including what may very well be the latest Youth Season World Record located on the cover of the latest North American Whitetail mag. Which by the way was "hogged" by Stan Potts. Give the 13 year old record-holding kid his own cover STAN!! I don't think that we have had an Albino in that Shop before, but it would be awesome to see and MOUNT!

roger

that would be hard any were i think i would mount it if i was him

Debra Wardlaw

I'm not a hunter, but my dad, Lawerence Wardlaw,was. He passed away in 1977 from a stroke. In fact, the am he had the stroke, he already had his deer dogs loaded in the truck; awaiting his deer-hunting buddy to arrive so as to be on their way to go hunt "that big buck". He already had a monster rack, that if measured, I'm sure would be in the record books. He had afixed a cedar pole to a piece of plyboard and placed his deer horns on with that big rack at bottom and called it his "deer-rack abstract". He was not new to hunting, teaching his nephew, Billy how to hunt (who is a mighty fine deerhunter today, if I might say so). Well, what would daddy do? HE'D SHOOT IT! But I think he'd have had it mounted. I know, without a doubt, Billy would SHOOT IT! That beautiful white deer mount would become a family heirloom!!!

Debra Wardlaw

I'm not a hunter, but my dad, Lawerence Wardlaw,was. He passed away in 1977 from a stroke. In fact, the am he had the stroke, he already had his deer dogs loaded in the truck; awaiting his deer-hunting buddy to arrive so as to be on their way to go hunt "that big buck". He already had a monster rack, that if measured, I'm sure would be in the record books. He had afixed a cedar pole to a piece of plyboard and placed his deer horns on with that big rack at bottom and called it his "deer-rack abstract". He was not new to hunting, teaching his nephew, Billy how to hunt (who is a mighty fine deerhunter today, if I might say so). Well, what would daddy do? HE'D SHOOT IT! But I think he'd have had it mounted. I know, without a doubt, Billy would SHOOT IT! That beautiful white deer mount would become a family heirloom!!!

Debra Wardlaw

I'm not a hunter, but my dad, Lawerence Wardlaw,was. He passed away in 1977 from a stroke. In fact, the am he had the stroke, he already had his deer dogs loaded in the truck; awaiting his deer-hunting buddy to arrive so as to be on their way to go hunt "that big buck". He already had a monster rack, that if measured, I'm sure would be in the record books. He had afixed a cedar pole to a piece of plyboard and placed his deer horns on with that big rack at bottom and called it his "deer-rack abstract". He was not new to hunting, teaching his nephew, Billy how to hunt (who is a mighty fine deerhunter today, if I might say so). Well, what would daddy do? HE'D SHOOT IT! But I think he'd have had it mounted. I know, without a doubt, Billy would SHOOT IT! That beautiful white deer mount would become a family heirloom!!!

J.COX

I WAS ABLE TO TAKE A TRUE ALBINO THIS SEASON IT WAS A BUTTON BUCK BUT I WAS STILL HAPPY TO ADD HIM WITH THE REST OF MY TROPHIES. I AM HAVING THE DEER MOUNTED FULL BODY . I HAVE TO SAY I HAVE TAKEN MANY DEER AND OTHER TYPES OF ANIMALS BUT THIS ONE MADE ME VERY SPECIAL.

MPN

I just got an email of a black white tailed deer. It is the strangest thing I ever saw. They say it is more rare then an albino deer. I wish I had away to show everyone the picture. The deer was taken in Michigan.

sidney

My fondest memory as a small boy was my uncle taking me out and showing me an albino buck he had been scouting. It was a 4 pointer then and he didnt want to kill it until it got bigger. To make a long story short he followed this deers progress for 2 more years until it was a decent sized 8 pointer and had decided to kill it. By happenstance it was killed in October by a bow hunter. My uncle is now an avid bowhunter but wasnt then. I think it really bothered him that he lost that deer I mean he could find that deer anytime he wanted he knew his habits so well. This was back in the early 80's in the ozarks where if 10 guys went hunting you were lucky if 1 guy killed a deer. So my answer to this question would be yes I would kill an albino buck and I would get it mounted and give it to my uncle. I was around 5 years old then and thats what started my fever for deer hunting.

Kay

Yes I would shoot it. It's not every day you see a white deer or anything else white. I'm just happy to be able to hunt anything.




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