piebald deer

Piebald Deer | Not Your Ordinary Whitetail

As a deer hunter, a whitetail deer is a welcome sight, but not necessarily a rarity. But, catching a glimpse of the incredibly rare piebald deer is a scarce and beautiful sight.

Every now and again, hunting enthusiasts get to witness rare images of a piebald deer on social media, discovered by a “lucky” select few hunters.

hunter with piebald buck

If you are a hunter and have the opportunity to harvest a piebald buck, consider it an extremely rare event.

DID YOU KNOW? The name “piebald” originates from the word “pie” – short for magpie, a black and white bird in the crow family. Piebald deer look bald because of their patchy appearance… Pie + Bald = Piebald! – VIDEOS BELOW!

This unique deer features impossible-to-miss white markings, standing out like a unicorn in a forest full of horses. In fact, many hunters focus exclusively on these hard-to-find critters – determined to add a new trophy to their collection.

But – what exactly is a piebald deer and just how rare are they?

piebald buck and boy

Piebald deer can have small areas of a splotchy, white pattern, or large areas of white, like this one pictured.


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What is a Piebald Deer?

Contrary to what many hunters believe, piebaldism is not a combination of a regular whitetail deer and its albino counterpart.

Piebaldism is a genetic abnormality responsible for the piebald deer’s appearance. It’s a rare condition that affects less than 2% of the whitetail deer population.

piebald doe in yard


Every piebald deer is especially unique, making them an incredible sight to hunters and non-hunters alike.

According to geneticists and researchers, the name “piebald” originates from the word “pie” – short for magpie, a bird in the crow family. The magpie has black and white plumage.

The piebald deer has a genetic abnormality, causing patches of white across its body. This patchy look gives it a mixed up appearance, in which the patches, or lack of pigmentation almost make it “bald.” Pie + Bald = Piebald!


Piebald definition:

Composed of incongruous parts. Of different colors, especiallyspotted or blotched with black and white. A piebald animal (such as a horse)

Merriam-Webster

Piebald deer come in a range of colorations and variations. There is no stock-standard. Some piebald deer look as though they’ve been splashed with white paint. Others may look almost “airbrushed” or spotted.

six point piebald buck

Piebald bucks like this one are a rare but beautiful sight.

It is believed that this recessive trait must be carried by both deer-parents, maternal and paternal, in order for the offspring to be piebald. That’s what makes the condition of piebaldism so exceptionally rare.

SCROLL DOWN TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS AND OTHER DETAILED INFO ON PIEBALD DEER

Piebaldism presents itself in many different forms, varying from moderate to severe depending on the circumstances. While some piebald deer can live normal, long, happy and healthy lives, most aren’t so lucky.

Interestingly, piebaldism isn’t just isolated to deer. Throughout nature, we see many other species experiencing this genetic abnormality, including horses, certain dog breeds, python snakes, moose, bald eagles, and on some cases, even humans.


piebald whitetail trailcam pic of deer in the snow

That’s not snow on that deer… it’s just piebald markings!



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Piebaldism | More Than Just A Coloring Abnormality

Apart from the strikingly unique coat, a piebald deer usually has other distinguishing features, include shorter-than-normal legs, an arched spine (scoliosis), and a prominent oral overbite.

Beyond the surface, a piebald deer normally experiences certain organ deformities, and even arthritis.

boy with piebald deer

Piebald deer are a rare sight, but harvesting one is a feather in the cap for some!

According to geneticists, this boils down to something called “pleiotropy,” which causes one single gene to control numerous traits. The affected traits range from pigmentation to bone development and more.

It’s not unusual to see a piebald deer with debilitating genetic mutations and severe birth defects. Combined, these factors make it exceptionally challenging for piebald deer to survive in the wild – let alone make it to adulthood.


This a video of a buck we call the “Halloween Buck.” More video below!

In one recent case study, Missy Runyan, a New York-based wildlife rehabilitator, was called to the scene of a distressed fawn in May of 2017.

The white-as-snow piebald fawn was plagued by severe birth defects, including life-threatening internal genetic mutations.

The fawn didn’t live for much longer, but Runyan managed to X-Ray the fawn’s body and detect numerous internal abnormalities. The results showed internal defects that made it impossible for the fawn to survive in the wild.



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Piebaldism Vs. Albinism

The genetic causes for piebaldism and albinism differ, something you can easily spot by gazing into the affected deer’s eyes.

While an albino deer’s eyes are pink, accompanies by a pink nose and hooves with pink hues, piebald deer have brown eyes, a brown nose, and black hooves.

albino whitetail deer on roadside

Some believe that a piebald deer is a cross-breed between an albino whitetail and a normal whitetail, but this is not the case. There are clear differences between albino deer (above) and piebald deer.

Piebald deer should also not be confused with melanistic deer, which typically lack brown or white color variations and usually appear to be black across their entire bodies.

While geneticists and scientists are still hard at work to fully understand the genetic mutation that causes piebaldism, one thing is for sure: If you see one, you should count yourself lucky. Few hunters will ever get the chance to get a glance of this rare creature out in the wild.



Piebald Deer | To Shoot…Or Not To Shoot?

More and more hunters are emerging on social media, slammed for their short-lived success at when taking rare trophy piebald deer. In various parts of North America, these rare white animals are seen as “sacred,” and not to be harmed.

Certain indigenous communities see piebald deer as “returning ancestors,” serving as a “reminder that something of significance is about to happen.”

There are various myths and legends, stating that by capturing and killing a piebald deer, you will “experience bad future hunts,” or, “guarantee your own death in a year’s time.”

Laws Regarding Piebald Deer | Check Your State Hunting Regulations

If you aren’t superstitious, do your homework by researching the rules and regulations of your state.

For example, it is illegal to shoot any white deer in Wisconsin, as herds of white deer are rising in numbers, making locals rather protective of the rare animals.


Amazing video of a young piebald buck

While certain jurisdictions have laws in place to protect piebald deer, among other white animals, many locations allow (licensed) hunters to lawfully harvest these rare creatures without consequence.

According to Brian Murphy, wildlife biologist and the Executive Director of the Quality Deer Management Association, there is no biological reason to protect piebald deer or albinos.

piebald whitetail doe

Spotting a piebald deer in the wild is a rare opportunity that many hunters don’t get to experience. Piebaldism affects just 2% of the whitetail population. (photo credit: Kevin Oldenburg)

Protecting them should not be regulated by the state, but rather, should be the decision of the landowners and hunters.

While piebaldism is indeed rare, population problems are apparently not a concern. Emerging research shows that the act of hunting a piebald deer will have no significant impact on the deer population, let alone damage it.



If you would wish to take such a rare trophy (and meat) back to your home, and if it is legal to hunt them where you live, there’s no reason not to hunt piebald deer.

Have you ever seen a piebald deer out in the wild? Leave a comment on this post or share your photos with us here at N1!

You can also view bow hunting tips videos and other hunting and fishing tips articles by visiting our blog.



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man backpacking in the wilderness

Critical to survival | Wilderness Survival Kit Checklist

Whether you want to unwind by going off-grid or just get away from civilization for awhile, you should take a survival kit and there are certain things that should be included in it to ensure safety, comfort, and a better chance of survival. 

You need to ask yourself, what would I do in a survival situation?

Why You Need A Wilderness Survival Kit

Survival kits are not just for folks who love to explore the wild. It’s also a bit of an insurance policy.

Do you have all it takes to survive? For a survival kit to be effective in a life or death situation, it must include certain things. Aside from essentials like shelter and food, there are other items that could sustain you for months if you use them sufficiently.

What you’ll need in your Survival Kit

So, let’s take a look at some things you should consider including in your wilderness survival kit: 

Water And Water Filtration

mountain stream

In a survival scenario, a stream may be a welcome sight, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily clean water…

Water is a big deal in terms of survival in the wild. In fact, it’s absolutely critical. You have to assume that in a survival situation, it could be difficult to find clean water in the wilderness. Should you find water and be unable to boil it, you will wish you had a water filter. 



In addition, you should consider buying water disinfectants. When you find water in the wild, there is always the possibility of parasites and bacteria currently living in it. It’s a good idea to have iodine tablets to ensure the water you will be drinking will be safe. 





A Rifle

Having a rifle with you in the wild promotes a better sense of security, and the effectiveness of a rifle shouldn’t be downplayed.

Almost any survival rifle can put down a medium-sized game, and is not large enough to ruin a small game. In addition, you can bag about 50-100, or even 500 rounds of ammo for your rifle in your survival kit without occupying much space, as a larger caliber would.

Having a rifle with you in the wild increases your security, but getting a larger once comes at the expense of space in your survival kit. 



Survival Meals

While in the wild, you are not always assured of encountering wild game, should you need food. In this case, having a supply of freeze-dried survival meals always comes in handy to help sustain you.

Freeze-dried meals are available in most stores; however, clean water must rehydrate and make them edible. 




Shelter And Sleep

man sitting near campfire and tent

The need for shelter in extreme weather conditions makes a tent a must-have survival item.

You should have a tent to sleep in if you’re going to sleeping outdoors and it should be able to fit into your backpack. Understand that an emergency shelter tent may not last long enough in extreme weather conditions, but it will mostly protect you from the rain.

Be sure to do some research and choose the right tent for your adventure.



These type tents are small-sized, lightweight, and easily foldable, so they can be carried along with you.

Also, there is the Life Tent, which is an emergency tent that you can easily set up with rope to secure a quick, safe spot to seek shelter from the rain and sun. 





Headlamp

man looking toward the sky with headlamp

A headlamp is a simple, yet extremely important component of any wilderness survival kit, allowing you to keep your hands free for other tasks when light is low.

If you don’t have a headlamp while in the wild, you have overlooked a simple, yet critical component of a survival kit. The headlamp is a must-have item for those who camp or explore in the wild.



The importance of having a headlamp to illuminate dark and cloudy nights cannot be overstated. A headlamp with an elastic strap, or one that clips to your hat, will allow you to have your hands free to do other tasks that require your attention in a survival situation, such as cooking at night or early morning, or working on a vehicle when light is low.

A headlamp with 550 lumens light is able to light up about 135 meters. 




Communication Device

During times of survival, if at all possible, it’s a wise decision to keep in contact with other people.

In a survival scenario, a shortwave radio with solar power can be essential in making urgent calls. These radios are an excellent purchase to include in your survival kit and can often be used as a led light, charger, and radio. 




First Aid Kit

first aid kit for survival kit

A First Aid Kit may be a no-brainer for a survival kit, but it needs to have the right items in it.

While in the wilderness, you absolutely need to be sure you take a first aid kit with you and be knowledgeable about its contents and prepared to use them, if needed.

First aid is a crucial survival kit item that should be available at all times. You should be sure your first aid kit is stocked with essential items, including pressure dressing, to reduce bleeding, should there be an injury that needs attention. 



Clothing And Footwear

hiking boots

When venturing out into the wilderness, be sure you have the appropriate clothing items in case you find yourself in a survival situation.

As a survivalist, you should ensure you have the right outdoor clothing. Having a comfortable pair of shoes should help you walk faster and easier. Additionally, sunglasses and a hat will help protect your eyes a from the sun.

Also, waterproof boots will help you more easily navigate through rivers and streams while in the wilderness.

Long sleeves also come in handy in protecting yourself from insects as well as sun. Also, moisture wicking socks will help keep your feet dry. You should also put on gloves to avoid blisters and insects, as well as provide protection from extreme hot and cold weather as well as hot objects. 

And, while some may not consider a watch part of your “clothing,” having a durable one like the military G-Shocks watches is a big-time bonus in a survival situation. They’re built to last, and can withstand the elements. Some even have solar power.





Survival Knife

In the wild, chances are, you may be required to do some “cutting” chores, so a quality and reliable knife is a must-have item for your survival kit.

You should get yourself a high-quality knife or a multipurpose tool that includes a knife in it. Your survival knife should be capable of skinning wild game, as well as cutting through and sharpening sticks. An excellent survival knife must be sharp and strong to easily cut through these tough materials. 




Map And Compass

In times of survival, you shouldn’t entirely rely on GPS, because the device you are using may not function properly. So, you should also carry a local map and compass along with you in case you get lost.

Maps and compasses are lightweight items, so they won’t take up much space in your survival kit.

Having a map and compass with you in the wild is a means to an end. Be sure you are familiar with map reading and compass navigation before you set out exploring! 




Final Thoughts On What You Need In Your Survival Kit

This might seem like a lot of items to be carrying in a survival kit. Of course, it’s not a pleasant thought that you could face a life or death situation while exploring, hiking or camping, But, in terms of your survival in the wild, nothing should be taken for granted.

You should always pack a survival kit with you for your trip. You should also know how to use every item in the kit and be physically and mentally able to use them if needed.

While there are certainly many other items than the ones listed that would be useful in a survival sitution, the ones mentioned above should not be overlooked.

Be safe out there!

vw van with rooftop camper

Car Camping: A Compact Guide To An Exciting Adventure

“Car camping” describes a camping style that allows you to drive your vehicle to your campsite, as opposed to backpacking with all your gear to a non-vehicle-friendly destination.

Many people prefer this type of camping for its convenience, affordability, and complete flexibility. 

Woman traveling by car and having a picnic in the mountains

You can pack your car full of your camping equipment, drive directly to a camping ground or camper-friendly park, and set up your ground tent or rooftop tent while using your vehicle as a storage facility for the duration of your stay.

However, if you’ve never been car tent camping before, it’s difficult to know how to plan for such a trip, especially regarding the best equipment to buy and what you’ll need.

So, if you need a helping hand planning your next car camping adventure, the following information might prove helpful. 

How to Choose a Car Camping Shelter

Where you’ll shelter from the elements is one of the most crucial considerations when you start planning a car camping trip.

If you like the idea of luxury car camping, a rooftop tent from a leading stockist like iKamper might be worth your consideration. 

car camping tent

Rooftop tents can bring a luxury component to car camping. They allow you to free up valuable vehicle space as well!

A rooftop tent keeps you and your possessions elevated off the ground and provides a layer of security that a ground tent generally can’t offer.

In addition, you also free up precious space in your vehicle, since you can store all your bedding and sleeping supplies on the roof rather than in the cabin.

No matter your choice, there are several factors worth factoring into the decision-making process, such as the following: 



Car Camping Tent Size

Tents come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, and not all will suit your needs. Consider how many people will typically form your camping group, and make your purchase accordingly.

Many of the best rooftop tents have a sleeping capacity of up to four people, which might be more than enough space. 

rooftop tent in snow

When considering the purchase of a rooftop tent, be sure you consider not only how many people will be in your camping party, but also the type of weather you will be camping in.



Seasons

Most people prefer to camp during the warmer months, but winter camping presents many benefits, such as smaller crowds, fewer bugs, and higher chances of being permitted to light campfires.

Alongside ensuring you have warm clothing to layer, it also might help to consider your camping shelter’s rating for the seasons. 

campfire while car camping

Whether camping in a traditional tent in a rooftop tent, campfires are certainly one of the best parts of a camping trip!

Some shelters are four-season rated for year-round use, while others are better suited to summer and spring conditions. So, be sure to check this information before making your purchase to ensure your comfort at any time of the year. 

Quality

It can be tempting to buy a tent based on its price alone, but a competitive price tag doesn’t always equate to a quality tent. Consider the available features that might contribute to a camping experience that’s memorable for all the right reasons. 

For example, many high-quality rooftop tents come with quilted insulation to reduce condensation, thick poly-cotton canvas to block light, and windows for ventilation.

The more well-made your tent, the more comfortable you might be and the fresher you might wake up for camping activities like hiking



Benefits of Car Camping

When you see luxury motorhomes pulling up at campgrounds, with the occupants enjoying a comfortable home away from home in nature, you might wonder why you’d choose to go car camping. There can be many desirable benefits associated with this camping style compared to others. 

Woman admiring sunset view while while sitting on chair by camper van at beach

Being away from home doesn’t mean you can’t “camp in luxury.”

Affordability

Even the best traditional or rooftop tent on the market is a mere fraction of the price of a motorhome. So, when you don’t have a large camping budget, you can revel in the convenience of still being able to go camping, even if you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to spare. 



You Don’t Have to Unpack

While hiking or backpacking your way to a camping destination can be rewarding, it can be frustrating having to pack and unpack at each site you visit.

Car camping gives you the freedom to leave all your camping essentials in your car. 

If you have a ground tent, you can keep this within an easy-access part of your vehicle cabin, and if you have a rooftop tent, there’s typically no unpacking required. 



You Can Carry More

Accessing off-the-beaten path campgrounds can be a rewarding experience for the average hiker, but it can limit how much camping equipment you take.

Sometimes, you have to choose between comfort and convenience, which might impact your ability to enjoy your camping experience in earnest.

Car camping allows you to take as much camping equipment as you can fit in your vehicle, such as sleeping supplies, cooking equipment, and other activities to pass the time. 


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What to Take When Car Camping

vw beetle car camper

Packing for your very first car tent camping experience can be exciting, especially when you’re heading somewhere new. Before you set off, make sure you’ve got the following equipment…

A Form of Shelter

Protection from the elements can be crucial in the great outdoors. Pack a tent that will protect you from wind, rain, UV rays, and wildlife.

Some people prefer the rusticity of ground tents and simple tarps, while others like the comfort and luxury of rooftop tents. 



Cooking Equipment

sausage and eggs cooking over campfire

You might not be close to any eateries on your camping adventure, so pack equipment you can use to prepare nutritious meals.

A camp stove is essential for beginner and seasoned campers, along with cups, plates, bowls, and cutlery.

Don’t forget the ingredients you’ll need for delicious camp food, like tacos, breakfast sandwiches, campfire nachos, and smores. 


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A Source of Heat

A heat source can be crucial for comfort while camping in colder climes. Check your campsite’s rules on lighting campfires and consider alternative heating sources like camp-friendly heaters, battery-powered blankets, and reusable hand warmers. 


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Bedding

A sleeping bag is essential on any camping trip. Make your purchasing decision based on the elements. For example, a winter-rated sleeping bag can be vital if you’re considering winter camping in the snow to take advantage of ice fishing opportunities.

Extra blankets might also assist with comfort and heat retention. 

It’s also worth considering your sleeping base. A stretcher, foam pad, or air mattress is often necessary for a traditional tent, while rooftop tents typically come with a plush bed pad designed for comfort. 



Final Thoughts on Car Camping

Car camping can be a fun experience for families, couples, individuals alike (and even pets), especially when you can connect with nature and enjoy the great outdoors.

When planning your next camping trip, consider the information above to enjoy as many conveniences and comforts as possible.