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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Hunting Problems [The Rumble Hunt!]

That sausage biscuit was a great idea earlier this morning… until you got up in your deer stand!

Let’s be honest, we’ve all been there. And, there’s nothing that can ruin a hunt faster… than the “rumble!”

But don’t take the rumble sitting down!

Introducing, the Rumble Hunt Master Class!




Hunting Problem Solved! – The Rumble Hunt Master Class

In the Rumble Hunt Master Class, you’ll learn specific exercises that will help you tame that tummy, and keep you in the deer stand longer.

You’ll also learn tips and tricks like, “The Shuffle, and “The Squeeze,” to help you keep that belly at bay, so you can still get that shot when Mr. Big walks by.

The Rumble Hunt Master Class will also teach you emergency techniques to help you take care of business when there’s just no other way.

So don’t let the Rumble ruin your hunt!

>> Check out the N1 Outdoors YouTube Channel HERE!

whitetail deer grayer color in fall

BIG bucks! | The Best States In The U.S. For Whitetail Hunting

As hunters, we all dream of harvesting the trophy buck of our dreams, but harvesting a trophy whitetail for the record books is often similar to winning the lottery.

So, what states have the best whitetail hunting in the United States? Below, we’ll take a look at just that, and we will also explain how we came to rank the states where we did.

A look at the data

We have very few places where we can find trophy whitetail harvest data. Sure, we can get data on the numbers of whitetails harvested in a given year from the various states’ departments of natural resources, but this is all deer and not just trophy whitetails.

Looking at the Boone and Crockett record book is the best indicator of which states are best to target when hunting trophy bucks. (photography by Jeff Coldwell)

If we want to find the best states that produce the biggest numbers of trophy whitetails, then we have to look at the Boone and Crockett record book.

The Boone and Crockett Club has cataloged all world record whitetails harvested since 1932.

So, now that you know where we are getting the data to determine our selection of the best five states to bag a trophy class whitetail, let’s get started!

#5 – Ohio

ohio-counties-map

Ohio is fairly recent to the number five spot on the list and has now surpassed the number of records held by the state of Kentucky.

All of the top 10 typical records and 6 out of 10 top non-typical records for the state were harvested in the last 22 years of the 2000s, and when you consider that the records started nearly 100 years ago, that is a sharp increase in the number of giant bucks.

This sudden jump in record whitetails is due to the stellar management practices by the states’ conservation agencies in recent years.



#4 – Minnesota

minnesota-county-map

Minnesota has four counties that rank in the top twenty best counties for whitetails in the U.S., and St. Louis County is #2 in the entire nation. A grand total of 1,194 trophy whitetail entries have been recorded for the entire state of Minnesota.

Minnesota may not be top of mind when it comes to whitetail, but it ranks #4 according to Boone and Crockett statistics.

The other 3 counties listed in the top 20 counties in the U.S. are Otter Tail, Houston, and Winona counties.

Oddly enough, the top 5 record whitetail bucks in the state didn’t come from any of these four counties.

In 2012, with a typical buck scoring 193-⅛ being harvested in Winona county; this buck also ranks #15 in the state’s history.



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#3 – Iowa

iowa counties map

Iowa coming in at just #3 may surprise many hunters, especially those from Iowa, as the state has a legendary status regarding the number of big whitetails roaming the state’s woods.

But the Boone and Crocket Club record books don’t lie, and the numbers are what they are.

andrew urban iowa buck

Iowa is epic hunting grounds for those chasing large whitetail deer.

Iowa has 1,330 records in the books, and the state is home to three of the top twenty counties in the nation, with Allamakee, Warren, and Clayton Counties making the list.

Like with Minnesota, it’s interesting to note that the top five record bucks harvested in Iowa did not come from these three counties.

In 2016 a whitetail scoring 194-⅛ was entered in the record books. This Clarke County buck ranks #8 in the rankings for Iowa’s highest scoring whitetails and #70 on the all-time record list.



#2 – Illinois

illinois-county-map

Coming in with a total of 1,445 trophy whitetails in the books, Illinois comes in at #2 for record whitetails.

Four of the top twenty counties in the country call Illinois home, and these four are the legendary Pike, Fulton, Adams, and Jo-Davies Counties.

illinois luke brewster buck 2018

This non-typical giant, harvested by Luke Brewster, is an example of what is possible in the state of Illinois (photo credit: Boone and Crockett).

Keeping with the theme set by Minnesota and Iowa, the top five typical record bucks to come out of Illinois were not harvested in any of the top four counties.

Illinois has had more entries into the Boone and Crockett Club record books in the 21st century than any other state, with eight entries.

In 2018 an Illinois trophy buck of massive proportions was harvested that came in at #3 on the all-time record list. This monster non-typical buck scored 327-⅞.




And The #1 State To Hunt Whitetail is… Wisconsin

wisconsin-county-map

Wisconsin is the top state in the nation of trophy whitetail records, with a whopping 1,822 record bucks registered since the Boone and Crockett Club records began.

The state is home to six of the top 20 counties in the nation, with the trophy whitetail powerhouse of Buffalo County, Crawford, Trempealeau, Vernon, Richland, and Sauk Counties rounding out the six.

Buffalo County is such a good county for producing whitetails that if this single county stood alone against the rest of the states, it would still rank at #19.

giant whitetail buck with drop tine

Wisconsin ranks #1 when it comes to trophy whitetails, dominating the Boone and Crockett record books (photography by Jeff Coldwell).

Keeping with the weird traditions of other top-ranking states, none of the top five typical whitetails in the record books were shot in any of the top six counties.

The top five record bucks were harvested in five counties spread throughout the state. This shows that the entire state of Wisconsin hosts exceptional populations of trophy whitetails.

In 2018 a typical buck scoring in at 192-6/8 was harvested in Columbia County and took the spot as the fourth largest whitetail harvested in the state’s history and #96 on the top 100 trophy whitetails list.


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Honorable Mention – Texas

ohio-counties-map

While the state of Texas is ranked as #11 overall, it is our pick to be an honorable mention for one simple reason.

Texas is home to four of the top six counties in the entire country, which is one heck of a statistic for only coming in at #11 on the list of best whitetail hunting states.

These four counties are Maverick, Webb, La Salle, and Dimmit Counties.

bradley oates big texas whitetail buck

Texas is a state you shouldn’t overlook if you are interested in hunting big whitetails.

Texas has a total of 767 records in the Boone and Crockett record books, and unlike every state on this list, 2 out of 5 of these bucks were shot in the top four counties, and the other 3 were harvested outside of the top 4 counties.



Final Thoughts On The Best States For Whitetail Hunting

There you have it, the top five states to chase record whitetails in the United States.

And remember, just because these states are on the top of the list doesn’t mean you’ll have an easy time trying to make it to the record books!

Hunt hard and hunt safely!