Piebald Deer are Spotted White and Brown

What is a Piebald Deer?

Piebald white-tailed deer are those that have splotches of white and brown in patterns that are different from normal deer coloration. The origin of the word “piebald” comes from two words, the word “pie” meaning mixed up and the word “bald” meaning having a white spot. Admittedly, the are cool looking deer but they are these animals do suffer some unintended consequences of this condition.

Piebald Deer are Different

A variation in genes produces the piebald appearance in whitetail deer. Deer with piebald color of white and brown similar to other piebald mammals. Sometimes deer with this color variation will appear almost entirely white and the observer may even think that they are albino. In addition to this coloration, many piebald deer have some of the following observable conditions, such as lower jaws that are shorter, deformed internal organs, bowing or arch of the nose/face, legs that are short for their body size, and even an arching spine, better known as scoliosis.

Whitetail Deer with Piebald Coloration

Piebald Deer are Targets

Piebald deer stick out. In most situations, these deer are just easier to see. The natural brown and gray-brown camouflage of a normally colored whitetail is lost and piebald deer become easier targets, except in areas that have snowfall, which even then is not year round in the whitetail’s range. Predators and deer hunters pick up on these animals quickly and will target them, so many are lost during warmer months and during the whitetail hunting season. Few piebald deer live long enough to pass on their genes to more than one generation.

The Rarity of Piebald Whitetail

This genetic condition is rare in whitetail deer with typically less than one percent of the animals possessing this color variation.

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