Piebald Deer – What are They?

A piebald is an animal, usually a mammal such as a white-tailed deer or horse, that has a spotting pattern of large white and black patches. The color of a piebald’s skin underneath its coat may vary between black (under the black patches of hair) and pink (under the white patches). The coloring is generally asymmetrical, resulting in deer with abnormally wild brown and white coloration. Many piebald-colored animals also exhibit coloration of the irises of the eye that match the surrounding skin. This condition also occurs in white-tailed deer, and makes for a very unusual animal.

Piebald Whitetail Deer

A genetic variation (defect) produces the piebald condition in white-tailed deer, not parasites or diseases. Piebald deer are colored white and brown similar to a pinto pony. Sometimes they appear almost entirely white. In addition to this coloration, many have some of the following observable conditions: bowing of the nose (Roman nose), short legs, arching spine (scoliosis), and short lower jaws. This genetic condition is rare with typically less than one percent of white-tailed deer being affected.

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Read article: Residents Fawning Over Rare Deer

143 thoughts on “Piebald Deer – What are They?

  1. I am a 70-yr-old former educator, grandfather and runner. I live in Stow, Ohio, next to a 17-acre arboretum near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I have been watching increasing numbers of deer (and other critters) run through our back yard for 30 years. Yesterday I saw about 8 deer run though the yard followed by what I thought was a 90% white goat with brown patches. Neighbor girl (sophomore at Kent State U) saw it too and thought it was a goat. We both decided after talking it was too big for a goat and must have been a Llama (there is a fenced-in Llama farm a couple of miles away). Today the high-school AP Science teacher suggested I look up “Piebald deer” which I had never heard of.

    Bingo! The bottom picture of the doe on your site is a dead ringer for what we saw. So I live and learn! Any way I could get the address for “Chip from Stow, OH posting Nov 30, 2012 above?? Anybody seen any others near the CVN Park?


  2. Cathy Houston says:

    My sister and I saw a piebald deer we were in Caswell County N.C. on our family property

  3. My husband and I live in Tallmadge, Ohio, and we have a piabald doe that we see in our backyard about once a week.

  4. I saw my first today Mar.17,2013 in the small town of Quincy, Ohio. I wasn’t sure if my eyes were playing tricks on me, so I looked it up. It is very rare to see and awesomely beautiful. Too bad no camera with me.

  5. Dick Bonnell-

    I live in Stow, Ohio and and saw a piebald doe 2.5 weeks ago. It came back Wednesday night, and I got pictures of her with my telephoto lens. She is so pretty! I would be more than happy to send you pictures to see if we saw the same one.


  6. I have pictures and video of two piebald deer (twins) in S.W. Michigan, one of which was caught a fawn nursing.

  7. I lived on a farm in sw Iowa where piebald was not uncommon. Saw many along the Nishnabotna River.

  8. John L. Doran says:

    I was driving in on Hwy 224 from Estacada, Oregon, at approx. 4:10 AM Monday 10/28/13 and I saw eyes in the road. I slowed to a crawl and a small fawn was standing right in front of me. A piebald. On the south side of the road a doe and another fawn were waiting to cross north and climb the hill. Almost thought I saw a ghost!

  9. Just saw one in Ellicott City, Maryland! It was amazing!! He walked right by our deck which is up against woods.

  10. One standing at Liberty Rd.and Lord Baltimore Drive next to 695 on 12/4/13 on my way home!

  11. Captured piebald spike on my trail game this morning in Washington County Alabama. Amazed at the size and Roman nose for a spike. Would be a memoirable harvest with my bow.

  12. Been watching a piebald for a year now. She is about two years old, pink eyes but can’t get close to see the hooves. She ranges from Harvest, Alabama, to Ardmore, Tennessee. Only white one in the herd but there is also spotted one (piebald?)!

  13. Spotted my first one today. At first I thought it was a goat. But it turns out it was piebald, almost completely white.

  14. Seen one today, thought it was a goat too. This is the second time I’ve seen it.

  15. We have one in our community now. He/she wasn’t here last year, so I’m not sure where she/he came from, but we were thrilled to see it last evening running with the other white tailed.

  16. Saw my first piebald deer yesterday evening on Seneca Creek Rd. in West Seneca – absolutely beautiful!

  17. I’ve got a piebald yearling deer coming into my yard that has a normal twin. This winter the white contrast was not as dramatic. The new coat is much whiter this spring. I have quite a few pictures of it with my trail-cam. I saw an albino about 15 miles from where I live in upper Michigan about ten years ago, but it was hit and killed by a car.

  18. My husband and I just saw our first piebald deer last night in Mahwah, New Jersey. He was a young male with antlers. Beautiful animal, we were fortunate enough to get a picture too.

  19. I was traveling to work one morning when I saw what looked to be a red and white goat chasing a doe. I slowed the truck and pulled over to the brush they ran into… to my surprise it was a normal doe with twin fawns.. one normal and one reddish brown to the top of her front shoulders… snow white from there to to tip of her flitting tail. She is among a small gene pool here in Oklahoma and the neighbors protect them.

  20. Had one eating apples in my yard for the past month, first one I’ve ever seen and I hunt frequently Probably won’t shoot it, too rare, even if it’s legal in central WI.

  21. Saw a piebald this morning in Lincoln, Michigan. Stopped to take her picture and her two fawns joined her for the photo shoot!

  22. I saw my first piebald deer on this mornings hunt. I had a 35 yard shot with a crossbow from the ground while walking out of the woods. As much as I wanted to take the most beautiful deer I have ever seen, I let the young deer walk. Hope to see it when it grows up. I hope that gets me some good karma.

  23. Traveling from Massachusetts to Maine. Right outside of Bangor on the hwy I spotted a predominantly white small deer with brown spots. Thought I was seeing things but until I looked it up. Beautify is all I can say.

  24. Chris, piebald deer are some of the coolest colored whitetail around, no doubt!

  25. Just saw one of these piebald deer in Scioto County Ohio. Had the same initial reaction as a lot of other people, I thought it was a goat until I got a closer look. Very pretty animal.

  26. We have had a home in Pacific City Oregon for 4 years and have deer roaming our small, contained area constantly. Two nights ago at dusk, I saw what looked like a small jersey cow? (brown and white spots) with long legs. It was a male deer with antlers about 6-8 inches. I was shocked!

  27. We live in an area of Ellicott City, Maryland, where large populations of deer have been our neighbors for many years, but last night we saw a white buck for the first time. It was amazing! We hope to see it again so we can get a picture.

  28. Jim, that’s a great, surprising find!

  29. Just saw one outside of Florham Park, New Jersey. Traveling on business, so not sure exactly what town I was in. I’m from upstate New York, where I see deer on a regular basis, and never even knew of their existence until today. Was a beautiful animal.

  30. We live in northeast Tennessee, close to Athens. We have a piebald fawn that visits our front yard with mother and sibling. We love watching the deer so close to the house. We have been trying to get a good picture but I think we have too many trees!

  31. We live on the North Carolina Outer Banks, a strip of land mostly about 1/2 mile wide by 100 miles or so. The past several years we have made several sightings of piebald deer, especially one smallish six point buck, in residential neighborhoods. We usually just watched each other from a distance but the other day he was eating acorns under a live oak. He was about seventy five feet away but curiosity got the best of him and he slowly walked up to me. He got less than ten feet from me when a vehicle came by and spooked him.

  32. I moved our family to a 75 acre mini farm located in Athens County Ohio right on the border of Washington County Ohio in Sept. 1985. We immediately noticed some very strange looking deer and I started looking in to this through our local library (the internet was not a good source at this time) but I did not find a great deal of information except that some references referred to albino deer and their genetic defects but these deer did not meet the true albino description. I then turned to some local old timers and they told me that these deer were bad to have around.

    After more investigation and inquiring to the Ohio DNR I found out that these deer should be harvested to remove this genetic defect from our local herd. With some help from a few friends we eliminated these animals and we have not seen any more of these animals for the past 29 years.

  33. I just had to stop while three deer crossed the road a few feet in front of my car in Bangor, Maine. The third one was all white with big brown splotches on her back. She stopped in front of my car, got spooked and ran back where she came from.

  34. Jessica Shepard says:

    My husband and I were driving down a country road in Strasburg, Colorad, and seen a whole herd of these unusual deer.

  35. Terry Millay says:

    I have a 2 year old buck and year old twins coming to my house. One of the twins is also a buck. I live in Machiasport, Maine. Love watching them.

  36. Keith Sanderson says:

    Just saw one this morning. Too early for spotted fawns, so it must be a yearling. Very light, with pale brown patches. Not at all clear dark patches like many.

  37. I saw two piebald deer on Sprague Road in North Royalton, Ohio, on Easter Sunday.

  38. Although where I live, in Quispamsis, New Brunswick, Canada, is inundated with deer, I saw my first piebald last night and I’ve lived here for 30 years!

  39. While walking at Quiet Waters Park here in Annapolis, Maryland, someone pointed out to me a fawn standing very still in the woods. It’s front half colors looked like a deer (but on the faded side) and the back half was white. Very unusual!

  40. Mary Venable says:

    I saw my first one yesterday morning around 5 am on the way to work in east Tennessee. The front half of the deer was mostly brown with white spots. The last half or rear and legs were mostly white with brown spots! It was with a normal doe. They looked to be siblings. It was a shock. I knew it was a deer but it was beautiful. I was grateful to see it!

  41. Mark Powers says:

    I saw one on my way home yesterday. It was on a hill above the freeway in Jefferson County, Kentucky. Very Cool! I wish I could have snapped a pic!

  42. Stanley Brown says:

    I saw one. A young buck at about 3:30 am in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia, Pa.

  43. Yesterday, I saw a pie bald blacktail fawn that looks almost exactly like the one you have in the lower photo (brown head, white body with brown spots). It was in Olympic National Park at Log Cabin Resort.

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