Contrary to popular belief, a piebald deer is not a cross between a normal whitetail deer and an albino. The origin of the word "piebald" comes from "pie" meaning "mixed up", and "bald" meaning "having a white spot".
Piebalds have various amounts of white and brown patches similar to a pinto pony. Some ranging from a very slight amount of white hair to almost an all white coat.
Unlike the albino deer, which has pink eyes, a pink nose, and pinkish hooves, piebald deer have normal brown eyes and nose with black hooves like a normal whitetail. Their coloration is due to a rare inherited genetic variation (defect) that affects less than one percent of the white-tailed deer population.
Many Piebalds usually display one, a combination of; or even all of the following conditions:
Though rare, piebald deer are more common than the white, albino, or the extremely rare melanistic deer.
What is a Melanistic Deer?
Melanistic whitetails are very rare, even more rare than piebald or albino deer. Melanistic deer produce far too much of the pigment known as melanin which makes them much darker than your average whitetail, in fact almost black. But, by no means are all deer with melanistic traits totally black. They can be a wide range of shades, with some being quite black to others being more of a dirty brown or dark gray color.
Of the millions of deer taken each year only a few with melanism have been reported. They are so rare that most hunters don't even know they exist , making a melonistic buck a true trophy.
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