Virginia Man Arrested for Killing Two Albino Deer

by Madison Miller

When it comes to albinism in deer, the genetic trait is exceptionally rare. We only see it observed in about one in 30,000 deer. This is a condition in which the deer lack pigmentation and have a white hide as well as pink eyes, hooves, and nose.

That’s why it’s particularly disappointing to see someone illegally hunt down one of these rare and spectacular creatures. A man in Patrick County, Virginia was arrested for killing two albino deer as well as distributing meth.

According to WFXR Fox, Michale Ray Clifton, a 35-year-old, is now facing several different charges. He has two counts of spotlighting deer with the intent to shoot, two counts of discharging a firearm from a roadway, two counts of hunting from a motor vehicle, two counts of illegal possession of deer, trespassing, and hunting without a big game license. The deer were not properly recorded, as per state law, either.

This is all part of an ongoing three-month-long investigation. There were two albino deer that were found dead with their tails cut off near a small road. As of now, Clifton was released on a $2,500 bond. He is awaiting his future trial.

Will Hunters Kill an Albino Deer?

Albino deer are rare due to recessive genetics, but also because the color makes them stand out. It can be hard for them to survive in the wild from other predators or even humans that try to hunt them. It is illegal to kill albino deer in certain states. Some people are very much opposed to killing these animals.

“You know a true hunter when they have the respect of the wildlife they are hunting. I don’t think most hunters would kill them, not because the Native Americans thought of it as a spirit deer, but because they would respect the fact that it made it through this long, respect its life. Now if there were few deer and your family needs the meat, then anyone would kill an animal that would feed their family,” Donna Cassidy wrote in an email to Bangor Daily News.

Well-Known Albino Deer Killed in Michigan

In June of 2021, an albino deer was found dead in Northern Michigan. It was a well-known deer in the area.

According to MLive, the deer was found dead in Irons in Lake County. The deer was shot by a crossbow and found at the edge of North Bass Lake Road. Northern Michigan mourned the death of this rare animal.

Some hunters also believe that anyone who kills a white deer will experience a long run of bad luck. The albino deer is also a sacred spiritual creature for many cultures as well.