Forest and Flight Photography | White Deer

WHITE DEER

I am fortunate to live in an area that is home to a small group of white deer.  There are other counties throughout the state where you can find groups of these unique and rare animals – Buffalo, Jefferson, and Vilas.   Boulder Junction has a very rare group of albino deer.  Records show that there have been white deer for hundreds of years in Wisconsin.

The deer are white due to a recessive color coat gene that causes a lack of the pigment Melatonin.  It can be dormant for years in the gene line.  In  order for offspring to be white, both of the parents must carry the gene – which means that brown deer can carry the gene.  Studies state that only 1 in 20,000 deer are white.  There are approximately 1.8 million deer in Wisconsin which translates to around 100 white deer in the state.

By no means are the white deer defective as some people believe – they are strong, aggressive deer and the brown deer will run off when the white deer arrive.  The “old doe” that started our group nineteen years ago lived to the age of thirteen, having fawns up till the end.

White deer may have both a white and brown fawn, twin white fawns, cream colored fawns or only brown fawns.  White deer carry two white genes.  Some brown does in the area are carrying the gene as they have had white fawns.

To learn more about these deer and watch some great videos please go to our area website at  http://protectthewhitedeer.com.