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Piebald Deer Turning Heads in Luzerne County

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A deer in Luzerne County is sparking interest from residents and hunters. The Pennsylvania Game Commission says the animal has a genetic abnormality making it partly white.

A photo of two bucks was captured by someone who lives near the Huntsville Dam near Shavertown

It's not the antlers sparking interest. It's the white coloring of the deer on the left that's catching the eyes of hunters in Luzerne County.

Officers with the Game Commission say the deer is colored that way because of a genetic issue.

"Piebald deer, it is a traditional whitetail deer but the hide may appear to be blotched, might have brown-white patches. Some people call them albino but they're really not an albino deer," explained game commission supervisor Mark Rutkowski.bradley

"Some people might never come across it. I mean you might never come across it but hopefully, someone gets it and they get to enjoy the animal for what it is," said Bradley Potoeskie of Plymouth.

People who have seen the deer say that it's been here a couple years and that they hope it's not killed during hunting season. But the Game Commission tells Newswatch 16 that deer is fair game.

"They are legal to harvest if it's an antlerless deer and antler deer, or if it appears in a certain season, or in an area where a hunter can harvest it, you know, absolutely. And because there are some genetic issues with it, removing it from the population would only benefit the health of our overall population," Rutkowski said.

While piebald deer are uncommon, but they aren't as rare as albino deer.

Game Commission officers remind hunters to follow the rules before trying to take an animal like this home.

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