« Whitetail News Roundup | Main | BuckTracker: Shed Poacher Candid Camera »

March 27, 2008

This page has been moved to http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/whitetail-365

If your browser doesn’t redirect you to the new location, please visit The Whitetail 365 at its new location: www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/whitetail-365.

Should Michigan Protect Albino Deer?

From the Lansing State Journal:

State Department of Natural Resources Director Rebecca Humphries wants to make it legal to kill albino deer during the whitetail deer season in Michigan, reversing a ban that has been in effect for 20 years or so.

Humphries argues that the law, as it now stands, is both an unreasonable burden on hunters and biologically unsound.

So why does the law exist? The answer appears to be a classic tale of a senator using the state legislature as his personal playground.

According to this article, the law started as a way to protect a friend’s pet deer. Seem reasonable to you?


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Should Michigan Protect Albino Deer?:


John Ingersoll

"He subsequently challenged the DNR's methods in the case and the March 13 letter from Humphries addressed Ingersoll's complaints. "

To view these complaints and the full story regarding what this hunter went through - www.theoutspokensportsman.net
then click hunter vs DNR

Please help get this situation investagated


contact [email protected]

For pictures and documents visit www.myspace.com/mdnrgonewild

The Wildlife Conservation Act Order states - 3.100(2) It shall unlawful for a person to take or possess, at anytime, an albino deer, being a deer with all white or colorless hair, or a deer with a coat of all white hair similar to an albino deer. Piebald, or partially white deer, may be taken under the provisions of this order.

Legal Description

• Albino – a deer with all white or colorless hair (pink eyes)

• White – a deer with all white or colorless hair similar to an albino deer. (brown eyes)

• Piebald – a partially white deer (brown eyes)

Genetic Description

• Albino

“True albinism is due to lack of pigment. A true albino deer will have all white hair, grayish hooves and pink eyes. The eyes appear to be pink because, in the absence of pigment, the blood can be seen coursing through the blood vessels.” (The deer of North America by Leonard Rue 3, pg 182)

• White

“The Seneca Army Depot in New York State has an entire herd of white deer. Although their coats are white, their eyes are brown and not pink, as in true albinism.” (The deer of North America by Leonard Rue 3, pg 182,183)

• Piebald

“Partially white, or piebald, deer are the color mutation hunters are most likely to see, being far more common than melanistic, albino or all white deer. Piebalds tend to be highly variable in color patterns, ranging from a few white spots to mostly white with a trace of brown. In albinos, none of the cells can produce melanin. In piebald’s, at least some cell can produce pigment. This causes a spotting of coat colors, with some area appearing normal and others white.” (John Ozoga’s Whitetail Intrigue, Scientific Insights for White-tailed deer hunters, pg 142,143)

Dr. Ralph

Tennessee changed their law to make it illegal to shoot albino deer last year or the year before. I've never seen one so I could care less, but it would seem natural predation would cause these white fawns to be easier to find and less likely to survive anyway so for now it's not a big deal.


I rememer when the MDNR came in and slaughtered EVERY albino whitetail in the area...this was in the late 80's early 90's in the western U.P.....i still have snapshots of 'em.

Walt Smith

I don't see what the big deal about shooting them is, the high fence businesses sell them to clients for trophys all the time.If the MI. DNR wants to crack down on somebody why don't they stop the breeding and selling of albinos in those facilities?? Or are they receiving big money to look the other way?? Personally I think it would be cool to shoot one, just like a shoot-n-see target, only moving.

don m

i say go for it,they all bleed the same ,RED, and im sure they taste the same.



Sitting here at my desk, I find it discomforting the idea of shooting a rare creature. On the other hand, in the field with no laws prohibiting it my adrenaline and desire to shooting something special might get the best of me. But since I'm not in the field, I say let them go. Like in Faulker's short stories in which the characters found themselves in the presence of mythical elk, just yell "Oleh!" and feel privileged.


i think you should have to shot albino deer because being albino is caused by inbreeding


albinos are definitely cool looking critters, but the are genetically inferior. i think it should be perfectly fine to shoot one. the reason not to would be for a personal decision or religious as with the native americans, otherwise, i think it would be an honor to harvest one if given the opportunity.


BANG-White deer down! The DNR laws are NOT working fine and I am glad to see that this law is up to be changed. I wish more folks would stand up and fight for their/our rights as it seems to me most want to complain, but are not willing to stand up to "City Hall". Way to go John. FYI> this law change is good BUT at the expense of John, his loss of quality trophy mount and his personal monetary expense!Its a side step to avoid the true issues.

John Ingersoll

The MDNR states "Your situation has helped reveal to the Department that the rules relating to albino deer need to be changed." If you would like more information on "my situation" and what caused this law change, please contact me at
[email protected]


Dr. Ralph

A TWRA (Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency) Warden told me to shoot anything white I see... they are having problems with Wild Turkeys breeding with the domestic stock and are not in favor of the politicians decision to protect albino deer.

Sexy Man

I say if that buck comes along and Mounts Another Deer she has a higher chance of her fawns Being Albino so lets say he Bags 2 doe a year whats the Problem here if we let it go all the deer are gonna be Albino then we wont be able to shoot the regular ones.. I say if he can Mount himself a doe then ima Mount him You feel me?

The Sexiest Man Alive

Thom Robenhymer

In a heartbeat. I passed on one about 3 years ago and have been sorry ever since. I missed an great opportunity for a great trophy.


Too many red neck comments. How about the albino deer shoots you instead? All animals have the right to live. Albinos don't come from inbreeding. May be the person who wrote this should do some research and possibly he was inbred.

Carel Two-Eagle

I've hunted for over 30 years and taken my full share of deer. But in the way of my People and many other Indigenous Turtle Islanders (ITI), albinos are holy, and to be LEFT ALONE. It isn't humans' job to "manage" (translate that - meddle) with every blessed thing on the planet. If we were gods, maybe we'd have that right, but just because we "can" does NOT mean we "should". Albinos are a rarity and holy. Leave the ban on killing them in place. That they showed themselves to someone is a gift. If nothin' else, it's awe-inspiringly rude to kill such a gift. Better to contemplate the meaning of such a gift, in the Traditional Way of us ITI, and how it appllies to you & your life.

John Ingersoll

"Moreover, there is no compelling scientific reason to protect these deer as albinism represents a mutation that is not desirable in a deer herd." Rebecca A. Humphries MDNR Dierctor

"Your situation has helped reveal to the Department that the rules and regulations relating to albino deer need to be changed." Here's The Real Story !!!! http://www.theoutspokensportsman.net/huntervsdnr.htm


I have hunted all my life and I don't know why you think you have to kill everything. When something is rare like these albino deer leave them alone for someone to enjoy. It don't make you any better than the next hunter if you shoot a white deer so fill your tag and get over yourself.

John Ingersoll

I found the following links on this story.

Field & Stream


The Lansing State Journal



The Outspoken Sportsman


Whitetail 365


The Outdoor PressRoom




My Space




Michigan Sportsman.com


Michigan Gun Owners


Michigan United Deer Hunters

Chain O' Lakes Sportsman's Club




Sportsman Talk


Shooter's Alliance For Firearm Rights


Great Lakes Forum




Injustice In The Upper Peninsula




John Ingersoll

I challenge the writers for Field & Stream to contact me for the real story behind why the Albino Deer Law is possible being changed. [email protected]

Please contact Field&Stream and request "the rest of the story" send it to [email protected]

Larry Duke in Idaho

Albino deer are not an endangered species. In order to get rid of albino's we would have to eliminate all deer. As long as man and animal have existed albino's have surfaced in every species, including human. Like spinach, if you like it indulge. If you don't leave it alone. Let's concentrate on the things that we can control.The higher the education the less ignorance.

John Ingersoll

Like the MDNR

Letter regarding Albino Deer Law!



As I understand it, albinos are rare but Whites were much more common, especially up north. In 17 years of serious White tail hunting, I have been truly lucky to have had the opportunity to see a white deer once. Eleven years ago I took my girlfriend’s daughter out to hunt on a youth hunt weekend in Central Kentucky. We saw more deer that weekend than I had in the first 6 years combined. When the white doe came into view it was leading three normal does. We were mesmerized by that ghost and agreed not to shoot her, in fact she never took a shot all weekend. We had four does run right past us at 20 feet from the tip of her muzzle. It was still one of the very best hunts of my life. She just got married and while we danced, she thanked me again for that hunt and special memory. I have to agree with Carel Two-Eagle, seeing that white deer was gift and letting walk was the right thing to do. The neighbor did not have any problem dropping it the next weekend. Horns would have made the decision to let him walk much harder.


In Alabama we don't worry about it! I was lucky to get picture of an albino doe with a fawn at a state park 2 years ago. When I came back in the spring I hoping for more pictures the Ranger told me some jerk had shot it on the first day of the season. Hunting is fine but protect the special ones.

Tattoo Contest

Send us a photo of your deer tattoo. Our pick wins this Leatherman, worth $80!

Name: Email Address: Attach photo here:
Tell us why you got this tattoo!

100 Top Public Lands
Field & Stream reporter Steven Hill spent two months interviewing state game agency officials, deer biologists, and whitetail experts to identify the absolute best public whitetail hunting grounds in the nation.

Choose a state below:

Our Blogs