ShareThis Page
Sewickley

Leetsdale boy spots albino buck

| Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
August Pryor, 10, spotted an albino buck in his Leetsdale yard on Nov. 22, 2017.
August Pryor
August Pryor, 10, spotted an albino buck in his Leetsdale yard on Nov. 22, 2017.

August Pryor was enjoying a few days off from school, when he glanced outside during the morning of Nov. 22.

In his Leetsdale yard was, what he thought to be, a goat.

Except it wasn't.

The “goat” actually was an albino buck, an extremely rare variation of deer.

“I looked closer and saw his antlers,” the 10-year-old fifth-grader at Edgeworth Elementary said.

He alerted his sister and her friend, and snapped a picture.

His mother, Stephanie, said the visitor remained calm and unnerved for quite some time.

“The three of them (August, his sister and her friend) went out on the patio, and the buck didn't really move or act scared,” Stephanie said. “He just hung out and laid down for a couple of hours.”

August said he originally saw the deer around 9 a.m., and after it ate and rested for a while, left around lunchtime.

Patrick Snickles, of the state Game Commission, said albino deer make up less than 1 percent of the deer population.

“Albino deer, in general, are a big deal,” Snickles said. “I've been a hunter since I was 12, and I'm 54 now. I've only seen probably six or eight my entire life.”

Despite being an extremely rare type of deer, albino deer are not given any special restrictions pertaining hunting.

“Believe it or not, the laws pertaining to hunting albino deer are the same as white-tail deer,” Snickles said.

However, some seasoned hunters know the scarcity of the deer, as well as the superstition.

“There seems to be two strong schools of thought for albino deer,” Snickles said. “Some people have no issue hunting them. But some know about the superstition of bad luck associated with killing them. And because of that, there are definitely many people who won't hunt them.”

Snickles also noted that while many may believe they've spotted an albino deer, they've actually witnessed what's known as a piebald deer.

“Piebald deer can have white on them somewhere, but it's very patchy and the amount of white on them can vary greatly. Albino deer have a distinct pink tinge to their hooves, ears and eyes,” Snickles said.

For August, though, he knew the sighting was unique, and looked forward to telling his teachers all about it when he returned to school the next week.

His mom was equally enthralled. “She texted the picture to some of my friend's moms,” August said. “They all thought it was super cool.”

Christina Sheleheda is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me