Walking the Buckeye Trail I saw a group of White-tailed Deer in a farmer’s field. One of them, however looked very different from the others.
A piebald is an animal that has white blotches in additional to its usual coloration. The patterning of the blotches are usually asymmetrical, resulting in a random arrangement of white and brown.
A genetic variation produces the piebald condition in White-tailed Deer, not parasites or diseases. Sometimes the condition is such that they appear almost entirely white.
Piebald and white deer have long been the subjects of hunting myth and legend. Some believe killing them brings a curse of bad luck during future hunts. For me it was a cool genetic variant of an otherwise common mammal to see on my hike.