More Black Deer Spotted in Texas

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” white-tailed deer fawns

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.”


86 Replies to “More Black Deer Spotted in Texas”

  1. About 10 minutes ago I was driving down 1462 in Alvin Texas and I saw a black deer on the side of some wood area! It was incredible, I pulled over to get a picture but he was gone! I had never seen a black deer and wish I could of gotten a pic. He was incredible!

  2. Today is Monday May 21, 2012 we have been hand feeding a young black buck and touching him with no fear for the last week. If Dr. John Baccus is reading this and would like to study this one deer please contact us.

  3. It was a while back ago,but I believe to have seen a rather mature one in Monticello, Arkansas… maybe two and a half years ago.

  4. We just saw a very BIG dark brown/black deer. Never seen one this color before. We live 3 miles north of Charles City, Iowa, on a small acreage. Spotted it about 2 miles north of us. I said I would look it up because I had never seen one. We see tons of deer in our fields all the time but never dark ones. Keep you posted if we start seeing more of them!

  5. I have been feeding a black doe for 3 years now, she comes in my yard like clock work and always brings her fawns. The three fawns that she has had are normal colored, but have a little more black outlining their ears. I have seen the fawns grow up and can tell by the outline on the ears that they are her fawns. The black doe mingles with a large herd and mates with a buck that I have seen chasing her around in the late fall. She is no different than the rest and they all treat her the same. She is just a different color.

  6. I work in construction and was at our dirt pit and i just happened to look up in between trucks and i saw a black deer running across the pit, then i saw 5 doe behind him and two smaller button bucks i couldnt believe my eyes. I have hunted all my life and have never even heard of a black deer. This deer is living in a very rural area and no hunting pressure.

    Have set cameras out hoping to get a picture of this awesome buck. Plus everyone that i work with thinks im crazy. This buck was a nice eight pointer with black horns and fluffy hair. I saw this deer around 1130 in longview tx. Unbelievable

  7. While driving home the wife and I spoted a black deer just on the outskirts of Newaygo, Michigan. It was standing in a field of soybeans.

  8. My husband and I live in Spring Branch, TX. We live in somewhat of a rural neighborhood. We started feeding the local deer last Spring. There are two melanistic does that come ofter to eat. They are gorgeous! We initially thought they were a different type of deer until we googled “black deer in TX” and came across this site. We also have some Axis deer that come once in awhile. There is a very large and majestic 8 pointer that parts the herd when he walks down.

  9. MY grandparents live in Ecru, Mississippi, outside of Pontotoc. There are a small number of black deer there.

  10. I saw a black whitetail the other day. Location was in Tupper Lake New York. This is in the middle of the Adirondack Mountains.

  11. Seen a black deer in Troy, North Carolina, about 6 pm on 10/5/13. It was with 3 other normal does. Thought I was seeing things!

  12. Hi, very interesting to see how the black deer have been observed across the US for the past few years of postings! The other night I was slowing down to turn in my driveway around 9:30 EST and this fairly large black deer ran out of our front yard and crossed the street to a field. I was puzzled because I never heard of black deer… and I was asking everyone if they had. Now I know they do exist and I’m not seeing things! Thanks from Chesapeake, VA.

  13. Came across a deer hit by a car a few weeks ago. It was early in the morning and still dark but as I approached her I saw she looked nearly black. I put my hand on her head and she raised her head and opened her eyes. She panicked and tried twice to get up but gave up after the last fall. At last a sheriff’s deputy stopped but only did so because someone called and said a man was lying in the road. She was really huge. He refused to put her down so another passer-by dragged her off the road. Guess the government did not want to waste a bullet. She was left to die slowly and painfully. Such a waste and horrible a man working for the sheriff would do nothing. Never saw one so dark before. I have noticed several dark grey looking deer lately but not one as dark as her. This was in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

  14. Saw an 8 point black white tail deer beside Interstate 70 between New Castle and Comfort, Indiana, on Christmas Day 2013.

  15. I live in Northern Michigan and have plenty of whitetail in my back yard. I have recently seen two adult whitetail deer that were so dark in the color that they were a deep black. I just thought they were rolling in the mud. But I looked it up and found a lot info on. Thanks. They were also with regular colored deer so they really stood out.

  16. I saw a white-tailed with black coloration in the side yard of our apartment complex who just stood and looked at me and my little dog. This is in Middletown, New York and very unusual.

  17. I have three pics from one I see on a regular basis. A few years ago it was one and now there are many just out side of San Antonio.

  18. About a week ago I was driving from Fairfield, Texas to Palestine, Texas and a good size black doe ran in front of my car. I was about 10 to 12 miles west of Palestine. I have never seen a black deer before.

  19. Was deer hunting in Wise County Texas on 11/22/14. Right before dark, saw a black animal come out on a pipeline opening. I thought it was a hog. Put my scope on the animal and was surprised that it was a solid black doe.

  20. I saw what I thought was mule deer, but it didn’t look like a real mule deer. The deer looked like a whitetail deer and I almost shot, but decided to wait for a better look. Don’t want to shoot a mule deer out of season. As soon as the deer turned I saw a black tail, I had never heard of a black tailed deer before. There were quite a few around were I was in west Texas.

  21. Kevin, there are black-tailed deer (which are a subspecies of mule deer) but they are not found in West Texas, only the northwest US. All of the deer you saw were in fact desert mule deer.

  22. I saw about 4 black deer in Clear Lake/Houston on a median in the road- just grazing. I should have taken a picture but couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I had never heard of black deer. They were near University of Houston Clear Lake.

  23. I live in Baltimore, Maryland and I’ve seen a black deer. I’ve been living in the county and was thinking that’s an awfully dirty deer. It’s always in my backyard. This makes me feel much better. No one believed me,so I decided to look this up.

  24. Just saw two dark does together eating corn in my front yard near Dripping Springs, Texas. They were both very dark does, one was almost black. How beautiful they were.

  25. My co-worker said a family member was coming into Pittsburgh PA to visit her and on her way from Johnstown she spotted a “black deer”. She was stunned. She didn’t know was what she saw was what she saw! So we looked up “black deer” on the google and sure enough there are black deer. They are extremely rare. She saw this deer last week of November 2016. Just wanted you to know!

  26. We see these black deer all the time, up to 14 at a time. Some are multicolored like a pinto pony… white, almost champagne mixed white and black. Canyon Lake, Comal County, TX.

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  27. Ray, thanks for the update. Good to hear there are still some melanistic deer going strong in that area. One day I was adjacent Canyon Lake and had a guy tell me he had just seen some “black” deer. That was over 10 years ago!

  28. I have also recently observed a black deer in San Marcos area of Texas. Spotted twice on separate occasions while jogging the neighborhood. It was possibly the same deer, seen on different days. They are very neat to see!

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