How do you feel about harvesting an albino deer?
The odds of seeing an albino deer in the wild are very low. Some odds estimate that the chances of a deer actually being born an albino is about 1 in 100,000. Regardless of the odds, very few people encounter albino deer while hunting. However, it seems every year the Internet blows up when hunter pictures appear on social media showcasing such incredibly rare harvests.
There seems to be a line drawn in the sand in the hunting world. One side sees nothing wrong with harvesting an albino deer. Most of time, it’s suggested that hunters want to rid the heard of abnormalities. You also hear that meat is meat regardless if the deer is white or brown.
I do get it. If it’s legal in your state to harvest an albino deer and you do it legally, then that is your right. But does that make it right? Several states have made harvesting albino deer illegal. Many Native American tribes consider albino deer sacred. Genetically, albino deer are the same as any other deer, they just have no pigment. So really, it just the hunter’s choice.
If the choice were mine, I would pass. For me, hunting is so much more than just harvesting a deer. The emotions that go into every hunt is what keeps me coming back. The finality of pulling the trigger or releasing the arrow is the last thing I want to do every deer season because that means it’s over. If I ever found myself in the position to just see an albino deer while in my stand, I would count myself lucky and be satisfied with just that.
When you realize the odds that all had to come into place to put that albino deer in your presence, that is enough to let it walk. However, I understand that it is the hunter’s right to choose and I would never fault that hunter for doing so. Perhaps, for me, the spirit of hunting is what I see in an albino deer. The elusiveness, awe, and mystic of encountering something you may never see again is enough reason for me to feel fortunate enough just to have the experience so then maybe I could share that experience with others.
So just as it was written above: if you were given the opportunity, would you shoot an albino deer?