Bob Coine of Heartland Studios near Oregon sent this Buck of the Week: Unplugged.
I've attached pics of a (previously unknown by me) mature buck that appears to have a melanistic face (no white on the top). My friend tagged a fully melanistic doe (no white at all) here 6 or 7 years ago...Melanistic deer are quite rare, more so than albino...
I didn't know what to make of it, so I showed it to Paul Shelton, forest wildlife program manager for Illinois. He sent this back:
Based on this one picture taken in the dark, I honestly couldn't say what the deal is.
Melanistic deer are more rare than albinos throughout their range. The only exception that I'm aware of is probably in certain parts of Texas.
I find this stuff interesting.
BOTW: Unplugged is the weekly celebration of big live bucks around Chicago outdoors. I know Oregon stretches that definition by some 50 miles or so.
Send BOTW: Unplugged nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BOTW: Unplugged tops the Field Notes on the outdours page of the Sun-Times on Sundays when bucks are around. An online version appears here, usually on Saturday or Sunday during the season.