These photos force the question: where legal, would you shoot a white deer?
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As a young reader of Outdoor Life, I recall dozens of stories that somehow impacted my formulative years as a hunter and fisherman. How-to and where-to go hunting and fishing, or course, topped the chart, but there were also many other outdoor oddity sorts of pieces that intrigued me for hours on end. Using chickens—feathers and all—to catch sharks was pretty cool as was another touchstone narrative entitled: “Boys and Bullheads.” Since I was a boy who loved to catch bullhead all summer, I guess it seemed a natural extentsion.
Another piece that I found particularly fascinating centered around New York’s Seneca Army Depot which, at the time, was home to the world’s largest herd of white deer.
“The story begins in 1941 at an army depot in Seneca County, NY when some soldiers noticed a couple white deer roaming inside their 24-square-mile fenced-off base,” explains blogger Dylan Thuras. “Realizing that something strange (and wonderful) was afoot, the General ordered the soldiers to protect the white deer. While the soldiers continued to hunt brown deer inside the confines of the reserve, the white ones were allowed to breed. With predators were kept at bay by a giant fence, and pressure put on the brown deer by hunting, the white deer population was able to explode. (These blanched deer are not albinos, as you might assume, but rather possess two copies of another rare recessive gene for whiteness.) There are now 200 of them roaming the grounds, the largest herd of white deer anywhere in the world.”
I’ve been fascinated by white deer, albinos and piebalds ever since although I’d only ever seen one in the wild. Then, last summer, I spotted a piebald fawn feeding in one of my food plots in early July.