View Full Version : Piebald & albino critters...

October 25, 2000, 06:15 PM
Can anybody explain to me the phenomenon of piebald deer, or other critters? I know it's piebald is a common color of horse, but I've seen a few deer skins/or pics like this (never a live one.) My 8th grade science teacher (a die hard Peta Skank) had a half white/half brown whitetail skin, that she claimed she aquired from the department of game, cuz it had been "poached"(likely story :rolleyes: ) This deer was all white on the back end, and all brown up on the front, and it didn't just fade from one color to the next, it was in blotches and patches. Really a neat looking deer. I also saw a picture some issues back in North American hunter. You know in the back where they do pictures of the game that was shot, and tell who got it and where and what it was, this was labelled "piebald whitetail."
Albinos occur when their body can't make the chemical melenin, which is responsible for the color, and causes all white skin/fur/feathers. I have read that some pigeons lack melenin in different areas of their body (it's a deformity) and causes patches of white feathers. Is this what causes piebald-ness in deer (and other critters, though I've heard of none)
I think Pie-bald horses are actually just the color of their bodies, depending on traits, and genes, I don't think it's the deformity found in these deer. There is probably an actuall term used for the deer, and they were just labelled "pie-bald" for lack of a better name.
I have also seen pictures of albino deer, many times, and in some areas they have established large amounts of this trait. And even one town in Tennessee where there are only albino squirrels, you can't hunt them, but there is a bounty on brown ones for fear of distrupting the genes, because albinism is a submissive trait.
My uncle has a mounted 3/4 albino hen mallard than he shot. It is really light brown/grey with pink eyes.(The picture of it has pink eyes, the taxidermist only had black :()
I know in many states (alaska included) all albinos are protected by law, there used to be a large bull moose that was quite famous, and was on post cards for a while, about 10 years ago (haven't heard of him in a while.)
So in conclussion (sorry, this has gotten longer than I wanted it, and yes, there is a point I'm working towards...) Have any of you ever shot, or even seen a Pie-bald (or albino) in the wild? Do you know what causes this, and if there are any pie-bald populations you know of, as happened with the albinos in some places? Any input or experiences, or anything would be appriciated, and I'll look for the couple pics that I have.

[This message has been edited by BadMedicine (edited October 25, 2000).]

October 25, 2000, 07:42 PM
Here's a link on the Tennessee squirrels, and others:

Heres some albino grouse a hunter blasted. It's the same light brown as the mallard my uncle got:

Here is an awesome pic of a Piebald buck. This is the most info I have ever read on them:

And a Doe:

These are awesome animals. On all the stuff I've found, I still haven't find out what causes piebaldness.

So far, all the pie-balds are white-tail. I wonder if muleys or blacktail don't cary the trait, or have the disease, or whatever causes this.

[This message has been edited by BadMedicine (edited October 25, 2000).]

October 26, 2000, 12:48 AM
We have two piebald living here. One doe and one buck. They are about 13 miles apart so probaly not related. My hunting partner asked me last week if i would shoot one. not sure. It would make a cool mount.

October 31, 2000, 12:09 AM
13 miles isn't too far. I wouldn't say they had to be directly related like brother and sister, but the gene is not that common, and in a small area like that they are probably atleast within 3 generations of each other, probably one or two. Same father, or mother, possibly a couple years apart, or the offspring of two does, by the same father in a year. Something that uncommon, that close together, would almost absolutley have to be related. maybe cousins.