Albino Deer Photographed


Odocoileus virginianus – Albino Whitetail Deer

How often do you get to see an albino deer in the wild? Depending on where you find the statistics on the web, you have somewhere between 1 and a million to 1 and 100,000 chance that you will see one.

But the real question is how often will you actually have a camera with you when you see one? I couldn’t find statistics for that one! But what ever the odds are, we were blessed with both of these “against all odds” events a few years ago. These were taken on Hwy 46 between Grassland and Leipers Fork, just south of the Harpeth River.

I originally posted them on the Vision Tennessee site, which has since been removed, so I thought I’d keep a copy of them posted here.

Of course, this is a good opportunity for a redneck test.  When you see this picture do you admire the incredible diversity of creation or do you say to yourself, “hum – bet that would make a good roast”?  Admittedly, I had an internal conflict.  First I said “wow that is an incredible creature”, then I lamented not having my gun… then I realized I had my camera.  I quickly snapped these shots and turned the truck around and pulled into the driveway just above the rise seen in the picture below.

As you can tell from the different shots, I was able to spend a few moments watching them.  Once I was in the driveway I was trying to figure out the best way to get close to them.  As I was headed down one side of a rock wall the three deer headed up the other side.  I heard one of them break a branch or make some noise and quickly ran back up towards the edge of the driveway to see the two brown deer dart across the other side of the road.  The white one was scared by the car and circled back within 20 feet of me.  Unfortunately the shot was washed out from the reflection of the sun either in the guardrail or the stopped car – I forget.

Either way, it made for a fun mini adventure on the way into town and some pretty cool pictures to look at.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

15 Comments

  • Dave says:

    Never even knew albino deer existed.
    Should the copyright notification show MMV instead of XXV?

  • Paul TN says:

    Dave,
    Unless they are very old dear photos!
    Thanks for the catch. I should probably pay more attention to the late night edit sessions.
    – Paul TN

  • judy says:

    where does the goverment take the albino fawns if one if found like in conyers georgia 2005

  • Administrator_VT says:

    Judy,
    I’m not sure. It seems to me if one was found abandoned that it would probably end up in a zoo somewhere, but I’m far from an expert on this.
    – Paul

  • Alan Chastain says:

    We live in Thompson Station and saw a small albino deer on Pantall road which is off Thompson Station road around 5:45pm March 28, 2006

  • Lori Settle says:

    I saw 4 white deer this morning in my yard in Okeechobee, Fl. About 25 miles north of Lake Okeechobee. There was one large buck and 3 smaller does. I did not have a camera, but did have my camera phone. The photos are not very good. They did not appear to have pink eyes, so after researching on the internet, I assume they are white deer like the ones in Seneca NY, and not albino deer. Any idea how they would get so far south?

  • Administrator_VT says:

    I think there are probably small herds of white dear in the wild still, but I’m not sure. I would check with your local game warden and see what they have to say. Ours was very helpful when I contacted them with these photos. I’d be interested in what they had to say.
    It’s amazing how little information is on the internet on this subject. I too read the article on the white deer in NY when I was researching this one.
    Maybe I should make this forum available for others who would like to share their stories. If anyone else has spotted a white or albino deer, feel free to post the location of the sighting here.
    If there is enough interest / sightings, I’ll purchase a web site for this purpose.

  • Deerstalked says:

    It happened this morning while brushing my teeth, I looked out the back window and 25 yards away a white deer was looking back at me. Deer often feed in what had been a cornfield fifteen years ago and is now overgown with all types of bushes and weeds. Grabbed the digital camera…dead batteries. Got the 35mm out…dead batteries. Found an underwater disposable left over from a Caribbean trip, unwrapped it and pushed the button…nothing. Only after I read the insructions, did I figure out the film needed to be wound to the starting position to activate the shutter release. Back to the bathroom window…gone!
    This is on eastern Long Island in a substantially built up area near the pine barrens. There were two “normal” deer with the white one and all seemed to be full grown, but on the small side. My first impression, seeing only the white one at first, was “what is a llama doing here?” Was it an albino? I don’t know; it certainly had a lot of pink around its eyes, but I can’t be sure whether the nose and eyes were completely pink. The bathroom window has been washed, the screen removed, the batteries charged, and my sunset and sunrise schedule altered for now. For now, I’ve been captured by the game.

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  • Brenda says:

    We see white deer here in NY on a regular basis.  There is an old army depot about 5 miles from us (we live in the Finger Lakes) and it is currently used as a wildlife sanctuary for a good number of albino deer.  You can see them pretty much year round.

    • PaulTN says:

      Brenda,

      I remember reading about that sanctuary when I was researching my sighting.  That is a pretty amazing place.  If I remember correctly those are a special breed of deer though, not just albino whitetail deer. Although, I could be wrong it has been a few years since I looked them up.  Do you know what kind of deer they are?

      • Brenda says:

        Paul,
        What I had heard was that these deer are albino because of so much inbreeding within the compound.  I’ll check around again and see if that is correct or if it is a special breed.
        Sorry for the delay in responding.  We’ve been traveling.

        • PaulTN says:

          Brenda, that would cool to know if you find out. 🙂

          • Brenda says:

            Paul,
            Apparently the deer near us are not true albinos, but carry a recessive gene that  causes them to be completely white.  Although, unlike albinos, they retain their brown eyes.  If you want more info go to http://www.senecawhitedeer.org.
            On another note, my father-in-law recently emailed me photos of two albino moose in northern Michigan.  If you’re interested in seeing them I would be happy to pass the pictures along to you if you could forward me an email address.
            Brenda

  • Jonathan Boehme says:

    This is very likely the deer I just saw last night at our church in Grassland…except now he has grown a decent sized rack!  I’m going to spend some free time soon out in the woods in that area with my camera and try and take some photos.  And then next winter/spring I’m going to look for his shed antlers.

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