While “black” deer, more accurately referred to as melanistic deer, are very rare across North America, it seems they are being spotted more frequently in central Texas. A few weeks ago I posted some photos of a melanistic buck in Austin, Texas, but it seems that animal is not the only white-tailed deer in the area with a color abnormality. Just check out the photos of these twin white-tailed deer fawns that were taken in the Northwest Hills area of Austin.
Dr. John Baccus, director of the wildlife ecology program at Texas State University, has been studying melanistic deer for over 13 years now. And as it turns out, Texas is a good place to study the dark colored deer. That’s because there just happens to be more black deer in eight Texas counties than in the rest of the world combined!
Black Deer are Really Rare
And as staggering as that statistic may be, most Texans still haven’t seen one! There may be more abnormally dark white-tailed deer in the central part of Texas than everywhere else combined, but don’t go there expecting to see one.
Dr. Baccus had this to say about Texas’ melanistic deer:
“Even though we have more melanistic deer here than in the whole world, they’re still extremely rare. It’s the rarest of the white-tailed deer, even rarer than the big-antlered deer. I get the harvest records every year from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and generally, there are fewer than five of these melanistic deer that are harvested in any given year.”