The ghost deer

A true albino can be told from a totally white pie-bald deer, because its eyes will be pink. This is because - with no pigmentation - the eye color comes from the blood vessels in and behind the eye.

In wild populations approximately 1 in 50,000 whitetail deer are born albinos. Given the population in New York of about 1 million animals, that would mean only about 20 albinos exist in the wild.

At a frequency of less than 1 percent of the herd, piebald deer makeup about 9,000 or 10,000 animals of the 1 million deer in New York State.

"DEC receives reports of one or two piebald deer being taken by hunters in the Adirondacks each year," DEC spokesman Dave Winchell said.

John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsman. He can be reached at johng@denpubs.com.

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