How Rare Are Albino Deer In Minnesota + Wisconsin?
Deer can be seen all over Minnesota and Wisconsin, but how rare is it to see an albino deer?
There was an albino deer spotted recently in Minnesota, but we'll get to that in a little bit. White-tailed deer can be seen all over the Land of 10,000 Lakes and the Badger State. They typically live in prairies, forests, swamps, wooded areas and agricultural fields. Fun fact from the DNR, when alarmed, whitetails fan their ears and raise their tails, as though raising a white flag. This is a signal to other deer that danger is nearby.
Last year, deer population was at a critical high in Wisconsin. According to WPR, overpopulation leads to over-browsing and habitat destruction, specifically forestland. One of the biggest threats to the deer population continues to be chronic wasting disease, which is a fatal neurological disease that spreads easily among deer.
So how rare is it to see an albino deer? According to Buck Manager, a true albino occurs in only one of out of 100,000 births. It is also extremely unusual for an albino deer to live over just a few years in the wild. Due to the way they standout, they are much more apt to be killed by predators. Hard to see in the winter, but unfortunately not so much when the snow melts.
Now according to Protect The White Deer:
The chances of an albino deer being born are about 1 in 20,000, according to John Bates, Wisconsin Northwoods naturalist and co-author of White Deer: Ghosts of the Forest. Other sources say the odds are closer to 1 in 30,000.
The 1 in 20,000 figure was from a study done in 1959-1961 by Michigan biologist Larry Ryel. He counted 2 albino deer out of 35,986 hunter kills in the state. If you're into math, that is about 1 in 18,000. However, that study was done in Michigan, so other states may vary, but still rare.
In cases of true albinism, albino deer lack pigmentation in the hair, skin, and, in the case of deer, the iris of the eyes. The site also said the eyes can be pink or blue and the hoofs could be pale gray.
There are some states that protect white and albino deer from hunting including Wisconsin. However, most states do not protect deer with color abnormalities. From what I can find, it looks like albino deer are not protected by law in Minnesota. While I don't have specific numbers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, clearly it is still a very rare site to see. There was an albino buck spotted in Illinois back in 2018:
You may ask yourself, why is he randomly talking about albino deer? Easy answer, there was one recently spotted near Isle, Minnesota. Lora Elfmann posted some beautiful pictures of the majestic find on the Facebook group Mille Lacs Lake, you can see them here:
This one is either "ope. Someone is watching, quick turn away" or "Ope. Did ya hear that sound in the woods there?"
"Let's play tag. You're it!"
Check out this superhero pose: "I am the one, the only, Deer Wonder to save the day"
"Why be like everyone else when you were born to standout?"
I can't stop looking at these pictures and I'm just in awe with how majestic this deer really is. Shoutout to Lora for the great pics on a rare beauty. Albino deer are so rare that most people won't see one in their lifetime.