This article was updated on May 16, 2022. Each fall, deer hunters see or harvest albino or piebald whitetails and discuss what a rare occurrence that is. But an even greater rarity exists: melanistic whitetails….
Some Piebald Deer Suffer Fatal Deformities
Mar 23, 2022Lindsay Thomas Jr.
Piebald deer are the result of a rare genetic trait that causes a mix of white hair patches among patches of the normal “brown” deer color. The genetic mutation causes these patches of skin to…
Deer Mange Looks Bad. Is It A Concern for Deer Populations?
Jul 7, 2021Lindsay Thomas Jr.
Got the itch for deer season? If not, this recent photo of a doe with mange ought to get you scratching. The photo above, taken on July 1 in Alabama, shows a classic case of…
Deer Instincts Can Trigger Weird Behaviors, Like This Doe Eating a Dead Fawn
Jun 29, 2021Lindsay Thomas Jr.
A lot of deer behavior is pre-programmed, not learned. The way they react to certain stimuli is instinctual as a result of millions of years of testing, with death serving as an effective cancellation of…
Why Does That Deer Look So Raggedy?
Mar 31, 2021NDA Staff
Many concerned sportsmen and women report “unhealthy” or raggedy looking deer in the spring because they see or get trail-camera images of deer with notable hair loss. A common misunderstanding is that these deer have…
Freak Buck Had Corneal Dermoids. Yes, Hairy Eyeballs.
Feb 17, 2021Lindsay Thomas Jr.
In the first 6 months that the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency offered a new “Report Sick Deer” button on their website, the hotline netted one of the weirdest sick whitetails in history, one of only…
A New Clue in the Unsolved Mystery of Bullwinkle Deer
Oct 28, 2020Lindsay Thomas Jr.
We now know the guilty bacteria causing the condition that for at least 18 years has been transforming a few, rare, unlucky whitetails into Bullwinkle Deer. But that’s about all we know. Mannheimia granulomatis is…
This Strange Buck Was a Throwback to Extinct Whitetail Ancestors
Jun 12, 2019Lindsay Thomas Jr.
Each one of us is the product of our ancestors, and more recent relatives have the greatest influence on who we are. But sometimes, through the weird acoustics of the sprawling genetic cave from which…
What Causes Deer Food Impactions?
Sep 19, 2018Lindsay Thomas Jr.
Grotesque facial swelling on a deer, known as a food impaction and sometimes also called “lumpy jaw,” is one of the weirdest sights a deer hunter can encounter on their trail-camera images or in person…
A Look Inside Piebald Deer
Aug 24, 2017Lindsay Thomas Jr.
Missy Runyan, a wildlife rehabilitator in Hunter, New York, responded to a call about a fawn in distress on May 24 of this year and found an almost completely white, piebald fawn with severe birth…