How rare is an albino deer? Hunters and experts weigh in

Published: Nov. 20, 2013 at 10:51 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 25, 2013 at 10:51 PM EST
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Anne Best says she was shocked when she saw one 20 years ago.
Anne Best says she was shocked when she saw one 20 years ago.

ASHBURN, GA (WALB) - Just how rare is an albino deer? Experts say few albino deer survive to become adults.

One hunting website says only one deer in 100,000 is born as an albino.

Deer are a common sight along Georgia roads in fall and winter, but spotting a white deer is unusual. Anne Best says she was shocked when she saw one 20 years ago.

"She slammed on the breaks yelling 'Momma white deer, white deer, white deer.' And I said, 'am I seeing things?' Because I had just woken up and she said, 'it's no ghost,'" recalled Best.

At first, she was hesitant to share where she saw the deer with friends because she didn't want anyone to try to kill it. She says she came across the deer on Whiddon Mill Road and she hopes hunters will save their bullets next time they come across one.

"I do, I do because they're defenseless because of it's color. A brown deer has the defense of the woods and the trees to help cover him; a white deer has no defense at all," said Best.

These deer are rare, but some avid hunters have come across them, and not all those hunters were eager to pull the trigger.  

"Ahh yeah, I've seem some. We've had one on our place for many years and we always let it walk," said hunter Jackie Sizemore.

Anne Best doesn't believe a white deer shot recently in Tift County was a true albino. After looking at pictures of it, she said she thinks it was a "piebald deer."

"He had brown on the crown of his head and had brown antlers. His eyes weren't red and he had no pink on him. And albinos have pink on them," said Best.

Experts say an albino deer is rarer than a piebald, but South Georgians say you may bump into one of them more frequently than you might think.

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