Every year during shotgun deer season my father Callaway, my older brother Jason, our friend Josh Bates and other family members and I go to Wayne National Forest in Hocking County, Ohio. for a few days of hunting. On opening morning before sunrise we all headed out. My dad, Josh and I planned to go our separate ways and meet up later that morning around 10:30. I found what I thought to be the perfect spot beside an old tree, where I could sit down and look down into valley where a small creek ran and watch the adjacent mountainside.
The morning passed and I saw nothing but a few small does. Just before 10:30 I got up and walked to the top of the hill, where Josh was still in his tree stand. He had shot at a nice buck about 45 minutes ago, so we started to look for blood. We found a couple spots of blood before Dad, who hadn’t had any luck that morning, joined us. We looked for an hour and half longer until we couldn’t find any more blood. Josh was disappointed, but said he’d look more after lunch. While Dad and Josh headed to camp, I decided to go back to my spot by the old tree on the mountainside. As I sat waiting, I hoped they would run a deer my way when they came back into the woods.
Several hours passed and nothing made a peep except a few gray squirrels playing around the creek below me. At around 4:25 p.m. I heard a bunch of leaves crushing behind me — three does came through and took a sharp right turn away from me. I was still looking in the direction they’d come from when I noticed a white tail flicker. I stood still, waiting to see if that deer would come my way.
A few minutes later it did. This deer, a buck, had a little more white on it than any other deer I had ever seen before. He was about 45 yards out when he stopped straight in front of me and raised his head. I was worried he was going to smell me and this was the best shot I was going to get, so I raised my gun, took aim, and fired. He dropped and started kicking. I waited a while until I knew he wasn’t getting up and walked over to him.
I couldn’t believe what I saw — this deer was really pretty, but very different! His legs were mostly white with spots of brown. He also had big white spots on both sides of his. Needing help to drag him out, I started up the hill and found my dad and Josh already walking toward me. As we all dragged him out of the woods we kept remarking how beautiful he was.
We finally got the buck back to camp and my cousin Jeremy and I took him to Logan to the check-in station. While the gentlemen at the station filled out my paperwork, Jeremy asked him if he had ever seen a brown and white deer. The gentlemen, still looking down, replied, “Very rarely.” Jeremy then told him we had a brown and white deer out in our truck. The man looked up and said “You mean a piebald?” I said yes, I suppose that’s what I got. It was at this time I found out I had a piebald deer. Everyone in the building went out to take pictures and was talking about how rare this deer was.
We took him back to camp and hung him up. Other hunters driving by stopped to look at him and ask questions. Once back home in Camden, the deer continued to get attention. At the local check station they took a picture to hang up, and an old man in there told me how lucky I was to see a piebald deer in the woods, let alone shoot one. He said he has never seen one in his lifetime until now.
I cannot believe my good fortune, and wanted to share it with the readers of my favorite magazine, Whitetail Journal.