The gun deer hunting season in Wisconsin is on — but a rare deer found recently is strictly off-limits. (See the photo below.)
The Vilas County Sheriff’s Office posted a photo last week of what it said was an “albino buck,” calling it an “incredible sight” and a “majestic creature.”
The deer is protected, an official with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources told HuffPost on Tuesday.
“Hunters are very respectful of white and albino deer here in Wisconsin as they are protected and shooting one would result in a hefty fine,” said Eric Lobner, the director of the department’s wildlife management program.
But one visitor to the sheriff’s Facebook page still wanted to remind those looking for a trophy: “I would hope any hunter seeing this would NOT shoot it. It is so much more beautiful alive than on your wall.”
Tracy Weese photographed the deer in her backyard, referring to it as “his majesty,” the Star Tribune reported. She said the spot on the buck’s head seemed to be dirt and blood.
Lobner said the deer appeared to be older but he could not determine for sure whether the buck was a white deer or albino deer. White deer, the result of a recessive gene called leucism, are a bit more common. A herd of white deer in the Boulder Junction area are “local celebrities,” he added.
Albinism occurs in about 1 in every 30,000 deer, according to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
The Life in the Northwoods website estimates there are as few as 200 albino white-tailed deer in Wisconsin.
The gun season ends Nov. 29.