Indiana Hunter Under Fire For Harvesting All-White Deer After 3 Years Of Hunting It

White deer
Noah Goeppner

When it comes to hunters encountering a white deer, it’s literally like finding a needle in a haystack.

Although many initially believe that creatures like this suffer from a recessive genetic condition called albinism (albino), they’re more than likely suffering from a condition called leucism. Albinism is when the creature lacks melanin completely, causing white skin, hair, feathers, etc.. along with white or red eyes. However, leucism involves a partial loss of pigmentation, and while these critters usually have white fur or skin, the eyes and nose and feet are usually more normal colored.

This deer here appears to be albino (due to pink nose and white around the eyes), which is even more rare. It’s estimated that 1 in 25,000 deer are born albino in the state of Indiana, and one hunter out of Spencer County, Indiana, has been chasing this particular white deer for a whole three years. This past Sunday, his dream deer became his.

According to 14 News, Noah Goeppner first discovered the deer in 2021 as a spike buck, and decided to let it mature. He saw it again in November of last year, but as a six pointer, he let it go.

Goeppner told the outlet that he had been observing the buck on his trail camera, and then from 15 yards out on Sunday, he dropped the string on him and let an arrow fly. He says it was his first whitetail buck with a bow, and boy, was this is one to remember.

However, he didn’t do it alone, as his black lab Nelli was the one who tracked down the buck.

Of course, he drew a lot of criticism for harvesting the rare creature, and while it’s legal to hunt albino deer in Indiana, it can be against the law in other states (Illinois, for example). Even among hunters, taking a white deer is a topic of debate.

But among those that don’t hunt, they find it pretty reprehensible. Here’s a quick look at some of the comments from WTHR:

Come on dude, he was beautiful

Any good hunter knows you leave these beauties alone

Definitely a hunter but I couldn’t have taken this one.

Breaks my heart

I can’t imagine anyone expecting praise for killing a rare animal. 

This is tragic. Should have left this one, buddy.

I agree with the should have let it go. A rare beauty and had escaped predators while young despite the lack of camouflage. 

How sad that he felt the need to kill something so beautiful. 

Absolutely heartbreaking.

Deer hunt all you want but leave the white deers alone. 

And on and on they go… the post garnered over 530 comments on Facebook. What do you think? Are you harvesting a white deer, or are you letting this one walk?

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock