A Lafayette woman harvested the deer of a lifetime this past winter while hunting on some family land in St. Landry Parish.

Krista Burks Farnham shot a 9-point piebald deer on the aforementioned family land located about 10 miles from the Thistlewaite Wildlife Management area off of LA 10.

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Burks Farnham has only been hunting for eight years, but she knew this deer was something unique when it walked out near her deer stand.

According to her husband, Paul, who shared this story with us, Krista made a very good shot with her 270 rifle.

"She was super thrilled and couldn't believe it when she saw it," Paul told us.

He also explained that there is an old wive's tale that if a hunter harvests one of these types of deer they are cursed to not get another big buck.

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What exactly is a piebald deer?

It's all about the color. Animals called "piebald" have a pigmented background of hair, scales, or feathers with a unique pattern of white (unpigmented) spots.

This condition is called piebaldism and refers to the absence of melanocytes (mature melanin-forming cells) in specific skin and hair areas.

Piebaldism is actually pretty common in almost all mammalian species. Piebald animals include:

  • Deer
  • Birds
  • Cattle
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Foxes
  • Pigs
  • Snakes
  • Cetaceans (whales, dolphins or porpoises)

Are these considered albino deer?

Not exactly. Albino deer are totally absent of body pigment and they are solid with pink eyes, nose, and hooves.

The piebald deer (as you can see in the pictures in this story) can have varying amounts of white hair. Some piebald deer can be almost pure white except small patches of regular brown hair, while others carry just patches of white hair with otherwise normal markings.

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How rare are piebald deer?

Studies show that less than two percent of whitetails are piebald, thus, pretty rare to come across.

Still, if we compare them to albino deer, they are the most common.

States with the most registered hunters

Stacker analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.

Gallery Credit: Meagan Drillinger

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