a piebald buck stands with his herd
Viral Hog

Rare Piebald Whitetail Deer Herd Caught on Video

While it's typical to see a tan or brown flash of fur as deer run by, deer enthusiasts are less likely to see white, black, or piebald deer. A piebald deer has patches of white over its hide. The patches cover the dark spots to varying degrees. Some deer are almost completely white, while others sport small patches here and there. This condition is caused by a recessive gene and occurs in only a small percentage of deer. A viral video from 2015 uploaded to YouTube by ViralHog is rather unusual because it shows an entire herd of piebald deer grazing in the forest.

The caption comes from Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary in West Bend, Wisconsin: "This video captures a very rare herd of Pied/Calico whitetail deer were once common in Northern range. Due to overhunting in (the) 1800s, most were killed off. Recessive gene appears once every 20,000 births. Legal to hunt and regarded as a trophy due to its rarity, but it is wise woodsman-ship to allow to reproduce and increase numbers."

The video focuses on a beautiful piebald buck and his herd. His pure-white face and neck are highlighted by light brown between his antlers and around his neck. Even the buck's ears are white! Overall, there is very little brown on this majestic animal. He keeps a watchful eye on the camera as it follows him. The large buck takes his job of protecting the others seriously. One young deer frolics in front of the camera, giving viewers a glimpse of its almost entirely white hide. It only has a few small tan patches.

While the caption states the recessive gene is fairly rare, sightings of these beautiful deer are becoming more common. According to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, recent studies show more occurrences of the recessive gene, up to 1 in 1,000 deer. Studies also show that albinism shows up in 1 in 30,000 deer, giving deer red eyes and pure-white fur. Though piebald deer seem more common these days, hunters still debate whether they should harvest piebald or albino deer.

No matter where you stand on hunting them, everyone can agree they are a beautiful sight to see.

READ MORE: A Piebald Deer Showed Up On My Trail Cam, Now What?