A Georgia hunter was recently lucky enough to take an 8-point buck so rare that most people will never see one in the wild.
Of course, there is nothing inherently rare about 8-point bucks, but an 8-point with an all-white coat of fur? Now that’s a once-in-a-lifetime deer.
According to Georgia Outdoor News, Tara Jackson, a bowhunter down in southwest Georgia, first saw the buck back in June while fishing with her friend Brian Spivey. Neither one of them had ever seen such a remarkable deer, and they hoped and dreamed the back would hang around the area until archery season opened.
Those hopes and dreams came to fruition when archery seasonopened earlier this month. They had been monitoring the buck with trail cameras since they first spotted it back in June and they understood the deer’s patterns by September, so they got a stand set up in a prime location.
Photos from the trail cameras they set up indicated the deer was still in the area by the time archery season opened, and Jackson decided she would be hunting that deer and that deer only.
On the opening day of the season, she set up in a tree stand near one of the travel corridors the deer was known to use, but she saw absolutely nothing. The next day, she returned to the same stand and saw several deer, even passing on the opportunity to shoot another buck because she had this one in mind.
The first time the all-white deer finally appeared within shooting range, Jackson sent an arrow sailing over its back with her crossbow. It was enough to send the deer running off into the woods unscathed.
Jackson was incredibly disappointed, but she knew that the deer might remain in the area after the shot since it wasn’t spooked by the sound of gunfire or aware of her presence.
Sure enough, her persistence paid off, and the buck circled back around to her tree stand. She didn’t miss the second shot.
She hit the deer in a good spot, but the blood trail was hard to follow, so she called Spivey and told him she had connected with the great white buck but needed help finding it. They brought in the help of a friend and his tracking dog, but the dog wound up getting overheated in the South Georgia heat.
Still unable to locate the deer, they decided to bring in help from Allen Barrett, a local assistant fire chief who owns a 9-year old bloodhound known throughout the area for helping hunters find their downed deer that are especially tough track.
After several hours, the hound was able track the blood trail into a soybean field about a half-mile away from Jackson’s tree stand, which is a striking distance for a deer to travel after being shot. Barrett speculates that the first tracking dog must have bumped the wounded deer and forced it to keep running longer than it otherwise would have.
Without the dog’s help, the deer would have been nearly impossible to locate, given the circumstances.
While the buck is all white, it’s not a true albino because it does not have pink eyes. True albinism only occurs in about 1 in 25,000 deer. The buck is actually what’s known as piebald or leucistic.
Piebald deer are generally primarily white with brown splotches mixed in. However, this particular piebald was somewhat of an anomaly with an all-white coat, besides just one tiny brown spot on the tail. The buck also has black hooves and a black nose, whereas those would have been lighter colors if the buck was a true albino.