Of all the things you may expect to see in a cemetery this time of year, two piebald deer is certainly not high on the list.
While tending to graves at the 174 year old Easton Cemetery in Easton, Pennsylvania, a volunteer grave gardener named Laurie Finch spotted not one, but two very rare speckled deer grazing and sparring near the gravestones.
Caused by a genetic abnormality, deer with this coloration are not often seen, only showing up in about 1 of every 1,000 deer according to the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, but Finch says she sees these at least one of these bucks quite regularly around the cemetery.
“It’s a beautiful looking deer, the kind you rarely see, but I’ve seen this one often at the cemetery… There was a larger piebald deer with six points with the smaller one. The larger deer has piebald markings on its lower side, just not as pronounced as the younger deer.
The two of them were going at each other, as if the larger one was teaching the smaller one how to fight or defend itself.”
I mean, what are the odds of seeing not one, but two of these, and then getting to watch as they square up and practice fighting? Truly an incredible scene.
Of course, there’s some people that want to get around these deer for other reasons, which has caused cemetery superintendent Jeff Mutchler to begin posting “No Hunting” signs around the burial grounds.
“We also know the piebald deer has stirred up a lot of interest with hunters. We’ve had to post ‘No Hunting’ signs even though there’s an ordinance against discharging a weapon in the city limits. We want to remind people to be respectful of the cemetery.”
Hard to imagine someone would actually go shoot one in a graveyard, but hey, you never know what people will do to get a rare hide.
The community is thrilled with the new found deer and polling is underway on a local Facebook group to give these two beauties a name; the top choices right now are Spirit, Casper, Pi/Pie, and Magic.
While we’ve seen a whole herd of these guys before, this may be my favorite sighting of them to date.