Perhaps not unexpectedly, you had a variety of responses to our question about whether you would shoot a piebald deer.
We made the query after reporting about the piebald buck, which was caught on the trail camera of Aaron Henderson of Camden.
Some hunters pointed out that the venison harvested from such a deer is the same as any other, with hair color as the only difference. Of course, there were folks who said that white or partially white deer might deserve a “pass” because of their unique pigmentation (or lack thereof).
Others are vehemently opposed to shooting such an animal.
Here are several of the responses we received from readers.
“I would shoot a piebald immediately. What a great unique mount that would be. How better to honor a unique animal then to be preserved forever on my wall … as they don’t live that long in the wild anyway. — Mike Pompoco, via email.
“You know a true hunter when they have the respect of the wildlife they are hunting. I don’t think most hunters would kill them, not because the Native Americans thought of it as a spirit deer, but because they would respect the fact that it made it through this long, respect its life. Now if there were few deer and your family needs the meat, then anyone would kill an animal that would feed their family.” — Donna Cassidy, via email.
“Wish you had not reported this to anyone besides wildlife officials. You may have killed this animal.” — Geo, via email.
“Had a shot on one last year, a big 8-point that’s 5 years old. Saw him again today, so he is still around.” — Ray Hamm, via email.
“Would never hurt this special mammal. See, my Cherokee name is ‘White Fawn’ given to me by my Dad’s mom, Ma, before I was born!” — Kathy Sawyer, via email.
“I have a grinder that I have built. It has a 6-inch throat. It is run by a half- horsepower electric motor and that thing will eat deer no matter what color they are.” — Walter Pitkevits, via email.
“I’m not against hunting, but if he gets to mate, more of us might have the opportunity to see such a beautiful creature! Just sayin’. Good luck!” — Aroostook County Girl, via comments.
“I’d definitely shoot one. What are your chances of seeing one. Should they be taken out of the herd?” — Roger McKinstry, via email.
“No I wouldn’t shoot the piebald deer, I think it’s inhumane and white deer are hard to find.” — Julie Pippy, via email.
“My dad, Buddy Rogers of South Portland, Maine, shot a true albino doe, perhaps in Scarborough in the early 1970s. He finally got his next deer 7 years later.” — David Rogers, via email.
“I was reading your article about a white buck in Maine. I found it interesting because I actually harvested a piebald this year in South Carolina. It is the first one I’ve ever seen in my 36 years of hunting.” — Michael Anderson, via email.
“We have many leucistic here in southeastern Wisconsin herds. It’s almost becoming ‘common.’ I live in the Oconomowoc area and there are six within a 10-minute drive that I know of and photograph occasionally. Even a set of twins!” — Tim Kron
“I have a few pics of a piebald deer that came to the apple tree behind my house a couple of years ago. It was a smaller one and, at first, I thought it was a dog. Very cool.” — LaChanz, via comments.
“While bow hunting here in New Jersey I spotted what I thought was someone’s goat coming across the soybean field at about 200 yards. It kept coming towards me and tucked into the woods and came right down the trail and walked right under the tree stand I was sitting in. It was mostly white but had big patches of brown, also. I let it pass and never saw it again. That was 45 years ago.” — William Maciborski, via email.