Sunday, October 2, 2011

White Deer Photos

Many thanks to Renae SunMoon for the photos.


One night a few years ago I was driving home after visiting some friends on the other side of Mirror Lake from where I live.

Instead of going back to the damn I went around the far end of the lake, as I had done many times over the years.

As I was making a hard turn near the end of the lake, I came across a half dozen white deer that were standing in the middle of the road, forcing me to break hard and come to a complete stop in order to avoid hitting them. There was one big buck and four or five other smaller ones, but they were all white as sheets. The big one just stood there and looked at me as the others ran off and then meandeared into the woods behind them.

The next day at JC's, the local bar, I mentioned the herd of white deer I had seen the night before and everyone knew all about them. There were more, probably over a dozen all together, and a few mixed, brown and whites.

Not albinos, they are white deer.

I looked up white deer on the internet and found that there were a few out west, and a larger, protected herd of white deer on a military reservation in upstate New York. Still, they are a rarity.

Later on I went for a drive to the same area I had seen them before, just before the curve at the far southwest end of Mirror Lake, and about one block off Lakeshore Drive I saw what I thought was a white doberman standing on a sideroad. I stopped, backed up and sure enough, it was a small white doe. I drove up and it scooted off into the woods, but only about ten or fifteen yards and stopped to eat some more. I drove up to about twenty yards of it and it never ran off, just took its time eating some schrubs, so they are very used to people.

One of the regulars at JC's, Tommy, said his mom lives right along there and sees the white deer all the time in her back yard. She has pictures that Tommy let me make copies of that I'll post as soon as I figure out how to post pictures.

Then I found one photo already posted online at Roger Beckwith's

Roger lives in the same neighborhood and sees the white deer all the time too.

If you scroll down the Roadhouse pictures past the Asbury Park scenes, Billy and Roger at the Stone Poney, you come to a white deer in Roger's backyard.

Come last November, hunting season, and local hunter and JC regular Michael, was proud of the fact he bagged a white buck, as did his son, whose name is Hunter.

Both of these white deer were from a different herd that is located near 4 Mile Circle, about ten or fifteen miles away, but not that far.

Michael said that some hunters around 4 Mile told him that the white deer came from an overturned truck that crashed near the circle. The white deer, they said, came from China and were being transferred to a zoo somewhere when they were released in the accident.

Although I have yet to find any record of such a truck accident, I did Google White Deer China and came up with the White Deer Academy, an ancient school in China where white deer are legend.

Located in the Five Old Men Peak, the White-Deer Cave Academy is one of the earliest institutions of higher learning, and was named after Li Bo, who raised a white deer during his study here. Li later served as the Regional Chief of Jiangzhou (Jiujiang today). The academy is one of the four famous academies in China, along with Shigu in Yunnan, Suiyang in Henan, and Yulu in Hunan.

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