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More Deer & Turkey Oddities

August 19, 2008
More Deer & Turkey Oddities - 6

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Have you seen a black buck? I haven’t, but they’re out there and this photo proves it. I received this photo a while back and it clearly shows a black buck, albeit a muley, amongst a bachelor group of bucks. This phenomenon is rare and if you’ve seen it in whitetails send us a photo. The scientific name for this syndrome is melanism and deer that have this affliction are melanistic. Many animals are subject to this change in color and it is caused by an abnormally dark pigmentation of the skin or other tissues, resulting from a disorder of pigment metabolism. This creates a high concentration of melanin in the skin, hair, fur or feathers to accentuate a dark color.

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Here’s my one run-in with the disorder. Several years back I was turkey hunting with my good friend Ken Barrett on one of South Dakota’s Indian reservations. Early on during the hunt we stumbled across a dark-colored gobbler and Ken immediately dubbed him “Darth Vader.” Our next several days were consumed with tagging the dark Lord. With some conniving we finally duped the cagey bird and discovered he indeed was inflicted with melanism.

Mother Nature doesn’t always follow the textbooks so be on the lookout for some of these oddities and curiosities. That way when you do come across a black whitetail you won’t be perplexed by the strange color and allow a unique trophy to escape. And after you tag the buck; be sure to inspect the buck closely to see if the buck is indeed melanistic. He may have just stumbled in some of Jed Clampett’s black gold creating even a better opportunity for you if you can find the source. Good Luck!—Mark Kayser

Comments (6)

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from bowkill1978 wrote 5 years 49 weeks ago

That is a fine buck! I'd definitely get a full-body mount on that guy!

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from Jeff McDaniel wrote 5 years 48 weeks ago

Hey, ... My son harvested a SILVER phase Gobbler back in 2006 ... you can see it at http://thelodgeman.com/default.aspx

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from adam wrote 5 years 48 weeks ago

Thats a cool looking buck! I'd like to see an up close trail camera picture of him.

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from Jimbo S wrote 5 years 48 weeks ago

Yes I have seen a black deer in the state of Florida at Nassua Co. and I have seen a silver turkey in Ohio at Columbiana Co..The deer I thought was the skinniest black bear I had ever seen until closing in on it, unfortunately no shot was taken w/ gun/camera. The turkey was placed in the area by wildlife management, it wasn't season but I did shoot it w/ a camera then chased them up a hill, they were domestic and just scurried away. I probably could have shot w/ a slingshot they so close and relaxed.

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from Dirty wrote 5 years 48 weeks ago

I sent a story and pic to ya'll, letme know if you got it.Dirty

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from CULLEN DAVIS wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

We see them like this in the Hill Country of Texas every year. I have even spent 2 years hunting a 140 class 8 point with forked brows that the only way he can hide is to get up against a juniper tree and lay in the shade by the stump.

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from CULLEN DAVIS wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

We see them like this in the Hill Country of Texas every year. I have even spent 2 years hunting a 140 class 8 point with forked brows that the only way he can hide is to get up against a juniper tree and lay in the shade by the stump.

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from Dirty wrote 5 years 48 weeks ago

I sent a story and pic to ya'll, letme know if you got it.Dirty

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from Jimbo S wrote 5 years 48 weeks ago

Yes I have seen a black deer in the state of Florida at Nassua Co. and I have seen a silver turkey in Ohio at Columbiana Co..The deer I thought was the skinniest black bear I had ever seen until closing in on it, unfortunately no shot was taken w/ gun/camera. The turkey was placed in the area by wildlife management, it wasn't season but I did shoot it w/ a camera then chased them up a hill, they were domestic and just scurried away. I probably could have shot w/ a slingshot they so close and relaxed.

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from adam wrote 5 years 48 weeks ago

Thats a cool looking buck! I'd like to see an up close trail camera picture of him.

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from Jeff McDaniel wrote 5 years 48 weeks ago

Hey, ... My son harvested a SILVER phase Gobbler back in 2006 ... you can see it at http://thelodgeman.com/default.aspx

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from bowkill1978 wrote 5 years 49 weeks ago

That is a fine buck! I'd definitely get a full-body mount on that guy!

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