Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 19

T

DECEMBER 2017

deer population at rates under 1 percent.
Limited observations indicate normal
and piebald deer crosses produce both
normal and leucistic offspring.
Rosenberry said the buck in the photo
appears to be a true albino, given its pink
nose, lack of color in the eyes.
The deer also appears to be switching
from its summer to winter coat. Unlike
normally colored deer, which undergo a
substantial color change between coats,
this buck remained as white as a cue ball.
Dingel, who observed and photographed the buck on three different occasions, said it seemed to fit in with the other
whitetails that converged each evening on
a soybean field.
The buck seemed to run with a smaller
normally colored buck, and fed contentedly with other deer in the field.
The buck did, however, show an interest in at least one doe.
"The buck approached a doe that didn't
want anything to do with it, or probably
any other buck at that time," Dingel
observed.
Given their conspicuousness, white
and piebald deer usually don't have a lot
of success eluding hunters, even though
at least three states - Illinois, Iowa and
Wisconsin - and parts of others protect
them. In Pennsylvania, some hunters
might set out to take one, because of their
uniqueness.
But Dingel said the buck he photographed has one thing going for it.
It resides in a "Three Up" wildlife
management unit, where antlered deer
must have three points of at least an inch
- excluding the brow tine - on one side
of the rack.
It's unlikely, though, this buck hasn't
attracted a following.
And it could be lawfully harvested by
a junior hunter
19

Jacob Dingel

HIS PALE BUCK was photographed
in early fall in western Pennsylvania by Jacob Dingel, who works as a
dispatcher at the Game Commission's
Northwest Region Office and whose
images regularly appear in this magazine.
Knowing that not all white deer are
white for the same reason, we asked
Pennsylvania Game Commission deer
biologists Jeanine Fleegle and Chris
Rosenberry to help us better understand
white deer and, in particular, this buck's
coat
Fleegle said there are two conditions
that cause a brown deer to be white:
albinism and leucism, both of which are
inherited.
Albinism is caused by reduced production of melanin, a dark brown to black
pigment found in the hair, skin, and iris of
people and animals. It is inherited through
recessive gene alleles.
Melanin also helps protect the skin and
eyes from the sun's ultraviolet radiation,
Fleegle said. This leaves albino deer very
sensitive to overexposure to sunlight,
increasing their risk of melanomas and
retinal damage. As a result, she said, they
usually die at an early age.
Leucism also is characterized by
reduced pigmentation, however, it is
caused by a reduction in all types of skin
pigment, not just melanin, Fleegle said.
Piebald deer, which have irregular
patches of white on an animal that otherwise has normal color, result from partial
leucism, she said.
Piebald deer can have a range of other
abnormalities that vary in severity.
With the millions of genetic combinations that occur when deer breed, leucistic
or piebald deer are rare, but widely documented throughout the whitetail's range,
Fleegle said.
Usually, they are reported within the



Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 43
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Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 61
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Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - Cover4
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