How rare is a black whitetail? I'd bet money you've never seen one in person.
Brooke Bateman, 14, of Dallas, Texas, was hunting with her father, Mike Bateman, when opportunity shined her way and she was able to take her first ever buck.
What makes this story unlike anything else you may have heard, her buck was a black whitetail deer.
"We got to the lease an hour before we needed to be in the blind, just so Brooke could shoot a few practice rounds," said Mike Bateman said in an interview last January with the Dallas News. "She had not fired a rifle since missing the doe last year."
About 4:30 p.m that afternoon, several hours after seeing nothing in their blind, their luck changed. A melanistic buck, or black whitetail, walked out in front of them. At first, they weren't really sure what it was. Mike quickly called one of his hunting buddies who shares their lease and asked what his thoughts were on taking the deer. Their lease has an eight-point or above rule for all bucks.
Both men agreed that a deer as rare as this was something that couldn't be passed up. Brooke was then given the okay to fire.
"It was nerve-racking, but I knew I could do it," Brooke said. "At first I was so excited that I couldn't pull the trigger. Dad helped me calm down with deep breaths. I found the deer in the scope again, took a deep breath and shot. The deer fell over backwards. It was awesome. I love hunting with my dad."
Black whitetail have an overabundance of melanin in their system. In fact, these deer are so rare that on average, out of all 600,000 total deer taken in Texas each season on average, one might be like this.
Black whitetail have only been documented in 29 states. There seems to be more in south-central Texas than anywhere else.
To give you another idea of how rare this deer is, out of the entire country's total harvest numbers, no more than five black whitetail have ever been registered in a given year.
This hunt is something to be proud of, and Brooke and her father certainly seem to agree.