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Albino Deer Question

December 5th, 2008

I came across an interesting piece of information while looking at deer regulations in the state of Tennessee.  I am not sure how many folks out there are residents of Tennessee, or hunt there, but I thought this was a bit odd.  It appears that it is illegal to kill an albino deer in the state.  According to the DNR website:

Hunting, trapping, or possession of albino deer is prohibited as set forth in TCA Chapter 70-4-130. An albino deer is a deer with a lack, or significant deficiency, of pigment in the skin and hair, and has pink eyes.

I know that there are many different opinions about shooting albino deer.  My own personal belief is that they should be legal, just like any other deer.  I realize they are rare, but most of the time albino deer do not survive long in the wild, even when they are “off limits” to hunters.  They are more susceptible to predators than are their normal colored brothers.

While doing some quick research for a good picture of an albino deer to link into this post, I came across a post on Stabley Outdoors (a blog I just discovered!).  Last January, John posted about an albino buck taken by crossbow in the state of Ohio.  Here is a picture of that buck:

That is one beautiful deer.  I know many (obviously the state of of Tennessee with them) think that animals like this need to be protected from hunters.  But, the truth of the matter is that albinism is a recessive trait that only causes harm overall to the deer herd.  So, while it is a beautiful animal, it will not help the health or vitality of the herd as a whole.

Well, that is my take on it.  Let me know what you think.  Should states make it illegal to kill albino animals?  Or should they be considered a great trophy for hunters?  Let me know what you think!


22 Responses to “Albino Deer Question”

  1. […] the original post:  Albino Deer Question This entry was posted on Friday, December 5th, 2008 at 7:18 pm and is filed under hunting. You […]

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  3. I think they should be legal!

  4. Michigan – just this year – finally made it legal to shoot albino’s, but it was illegal to shoot one here for a number of years.

    I don’t have a problem with anyone shooting them, because I understand that they are actually a genetic defect, and probably should be culled from the herd. But, for me personally, I could never shoot one. They seem kind of mystical.

  5. I vote for making it legal – seems to me that it should a personal choice.

  6. I like what Arthur and Tom added to the conversation: personal choice. Even if it is legal, it does not mean that anyone HAS to shoot one…you can pass it up just like you can pass up a smaller buck if you so choose. I don’t know whether I would shoot one or not…I guess I will have to wait till I am in a stand and see one 🙂

    Thanks everyone for the input!

  7. It illegal here in British Columbia too .White deer, elk, moose and white “spirit” bears. Should it be legal to hunt them? I don’t see why not.

  8. Disagree, try to justify it as you will but the truth is a few misfit deer are not going to kill the whole species. They are a rare and amazing animal and thus should not be killed. Feel free to blast anything else you see fit, just lay off the albinos.

  9. Stop Abuse Animal!!!!

  10. Hunting is not animal abuse.

  11. It may be a genetic defect but by making it legal to hunt them many trophy hunters would go out of there way to kill every last one. The less there are out there spreading that recessive gene the less we’ll see in the future. That would be tragic, even if they don’t last long in the wild shouldn’t they still get a chance?

  12. Excellent Article! and obviously everyone has an opinion. I think the albino should be in the same hunting regulations as its counterpart.

  13. I think it’s just unfair. If you can’t find a normally colored dear then if it’s legal to kill albino’s you’re just going to go for the easier catch, what kind of a hunter would that make you? A lazy one that’s what. That’s not sport at that point.

  14. Clay Rainwater Says:
    December 2nd, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Any body who said to not shoot them are idiots. I would kill an albino deer any chance i get. Lina you are the most stupid person i have ever heard. You must be some stupid city slicker yankee. I would rather kill an albino deer than the biggest regular deer i have ever saw.


  15. You’ve already got a ticket to bow away any other deer that happen to be in range — insisting on being able to kill rare alninos is childish, greedy and irresponsible.

    You can try to justify it but it only weakens your argument.

  16. That person in the photo is the epitome of redneck idiot.

  17. That animal was rare and deserved to live as much as you do.
    Who are you to say what value an albino has…..

  18. I personally don’t think hunting should be legal at all; albino prey or not. But since it is, I’ll stick to the subject at hand. Albinism is a genetic defect and the survival rate of animals with albinism in the wild is usually quite low. But since it is a defect and not the norm, I would consider it a shame to allow hunters to go after them and risk erradicating the gene all together. I’m glad there are people out there trying to protect these specimens.

  19. Jaime Leister Says:
    February 26th, 2010 at 5:41 am

    people that hunt Albino deer are cowards.. if they are really so weak let nature take care of it… dont hunt yourself a white trophy… its disgusting!

  20. cowards? I am sure there is some logic to that statement in your own mind…

  21. i think in gereral it is stupid to hunt. i think hunting everything should be illegal.

  22. When I first started reading the comments on this I was intrigued by how clean and logical the arguments were… but there was a steady decline after that. That’s the internet for you.

    I am not a hunter and I am a strong supporter or animal rights, but even I know that hunting is not animal abuse, so long as the animal is not purposely tortured. In truth hunting is good for animals like deer, who if left unhunted would eat away their resources and keep reproducing until their numbers are so large and there’s so little for them to eat that they start to starve to death. Is that more humane? I don’t think so.

    As for the albino deer, I agree with the first few that stated it should be a choice whether or not to shoot it. Comments like the one left by Clay Rainwater almost make me want to change my mind on it… but I won’t. Odds are you can’t go hunting an albino solely, as they aren’t going to be commonplace. Deer numbers are enough that not every albino would be seen and hunted, therefore even the gene will not be eradicated because hunters shoot a few of them. I know enough about the way hunting works to say it’s illogical to think that someone could go trying to hunt one of these animals and find it but once in a lifetime. If it ever became a problem, okay, cut back on it, but I don’t think it would.

    In other words, I believe it should be a choice and legal.

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