LOOK: Illinois Hunter Takes Down Incredibly Rare Piebald Doe

by Amy Myers
Photo by: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Illinois hunter Travis Hendrickson took down a rare, piebald whitetail, and it may be the only time when you would consider mounting a doe.

Typically, the only spots that a whitetail hunter might find would be on the back of a tiny fawn. But in this case, the sizeable doe had quite a few white spots on her face and down her back. Even her nose seemed to have some discoloration. Lucky for Hendrickson, he was able to harvest this doe and share it with Drury Outdoors where he gained some well-deserved recognition for the rare game animal.

“A rare occurrence in the whitetail woods!” Drury Outdoors shared on Facebook. “Travis Hendrickson was hunting in central Illinois when he had the opportunity to harvest this beautiful piebald doe!”

In the photo, Hendrickson posed next to his prized deer, dressed in denim and a T-shirt. There was no camo or other coverage in sight. It’s unclear what this hunter used to harvest this piebald doe, though it looks like it only took one spot-on shot.

In the comments, fellow hunters showed their own rare trophy deer with similar discoloration. Most of them were whitetails, and one even turned their mostly-white doe into a full-body mount.

Scientists Spot a Deer Even Rarer Than the Piebald Doe

Earlier this year, scientists spotted a one-in-a-million animal prancing across the side of a Texas hill. This mule deer fawn, like the piebald doe, had discoloration, but instead of white spots, this deer was completely black.

As it turns out, melanistic deer are even rarer than piebald and albino deer.

“A melanistic (black hair) mule deer fawn was spotted by TPWD District 1 Biologists while conducting wildlife surveys in the Trans-Pecos. Melanism is a rare, random genetic anomaly believed to be caused by mutations in the melanocortin 1 receptor gene (MC1R) which leads to an overproduction of the pigment melanin,” Texas Parks and Wildlife Department explained in their own Facebook post.

The TPWD continued, “additional pigmentation protects [animals] from sunlight exposure and increases their ability to absorb heat in cold weather. The darker coloration also makes it easier for those animals active at night to conceal themselves.”

In the video, the rare fawn scampered away from the hovering helo. Of course, this did spark concern that the scientists’ methods disturbed the local wildlife population.

However, the department assured viewers that “All of our wildlife surveys are conducted with both human and animal welfare as the first priority. During wildlife surveys animals are typically exposed to only a short time of disturbance (usually less than 30 secs). You can see this video is only 8 seconds long and was taken during a ‘fly over.'”

In order to protect the deer from unethical culling, the department did not disclose the location of the property.