A Petition To Outlaw The Hunting Of
Albino White Tailed Deer
Albino white-tailed deer are very rare. Only one out of 20,000 to 30,000 are born with the albino gene. The chance of seeing one of these magnificent creatures is slim. Even though only a very few deer possess the gene; an even smaller amount actually express the trait.
Deer herds are increasing in size (in our area), and with that the albino gene is spreading. Although the gene is spreading; the actual pure albino trait being expressed is staggering. The albino gene is a recessive gene, meaning that in order to produce a pure albino offspring, both parents must possess the albino gene. If an albino deer was to breed with a normal deer; the offspring would be normal colored, but still posses the gene.
A true albino deer has pink eyes. This effect is caused by burst blood vessels in the eyes causing them to have very poor eyesight. Being white all year round is a great disadvantage for the deer. This downfall makes the albino easy prey for any predator. During regular deer hunting season here in Maine we rarely have snow. This means that the foliage and ground cover are natural brown and green colored. An albino deer sticks out like a sore thumb with this background.
Because the albino is so visible and nearly blind many of the few albinos are fortunate enough to mature into adult deer without being taken by natural predators or shot by hunters. The odds of seeing an adult albino buck is greater than one in one million.
In our area we are lucky enough to have a full albino eight-point buck, as well as a few partial albinos. During this past deer hunting season a seventy-five percent albino doe deer was shot in Littleton. Although this deer wasnít a pure albino, it obviously carried the gene. That one deer killed significantly lowered the number of deer with the capability of producing an albino, due to the rarity of the gene. These few deer are hardly surviving in nature alone.
Wisconsin is a well known state for whitetail deer hunting. In Wisconsin and several other states the states government has stepped in and set laws eliminating the shooting of albino deer by protecting them by law. Hunting of the albino deer in these states could leave one with large fines and/or land he/she in jail. Maine needs to do the same.
Stopping the hunting of albinos will help to eliminate their decline. By doing this man will be one less predator the albino will have stalking it. They will still face natural predators, but over time the miniscule number of this rare breed would start to evolve into a larger one.
Wouldnít you enjoy seeing albino deer? Having that Opportunity is becoming less and less of a reality. Without protection the albino white-tailed deer will drop off the radar and fade from existence. Thatís why Iím urging you, the Maine Legislature, to use the power that has been appointed to you. You have the ability to preserve a dieing species in need of protecting. Ban the hunting of albino white-tailed deer in Maine.
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