An extremely rare deer was photographed this week at Lake of the Ozarks. Stacy Wall says she saw the deer on Monday, Oct. 19… though she preferred not to say exactly where.
According to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, albinism is only found in about 1 out of 30,000 deer. The Missouri Conservation Department estimates the state’s deer population at between 1 and 2 million. White deer are at a distinct disadvantage, since any hunter can testify a deer’s natural buff coloring makes them hard to spot. A white deer—as evidenced in Wall’s photos—sticks out like a sore thumb, except perhaps on a snowy day. Historically, mountain lions and timberwolves were deer’s primary predators in Missouri, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. But as the state has no current timberwolf population and only a scant number of mountain lions, the most common wildlife predators these days are coyotes and bobcats. Being smaller, those would likely only prey on a fawn around 6 months of age or younger. Of course, Missouri hunters are the species’ primary predator, replacing the role mountain lions and timberwolves used to play in controlling the population. It’s not illegal to hunt albino deer in Missouri—they have no special protections under Conservation regulations. However, hunters do still need to have a legal hunting permit before harvesting any Missouri wildlife/game. [full article]