UPDATE: Photographer Jenny Hagan informed West Central Online that upon further clarification from the Wildlife Ministry, the deer she photographed, they believe it has a form of Leusism, which is slightly different than albinsim. The slight difference explains why the deer has a black nose and hooves. Additionally, they stated it is still a very rare condition and affects approximately one per cent of the deer population.
A local photographer recently captured images of a very rare albino mule deer in the Eatonia area.
Jenny Hagan heard reports of the white mule deer around her home town but sightings were few and far between. That was until she was picking up her fruit for the local fruit drive and came out to her van to see the deer standing next to her van.
“The apples basically went flying and I threw everything in my van and ran home to get my camera, and my daughter and I went and camped out in a field where she (the deer) headed to,” shared Hagan, “We saw her bedded down and so we just hung out and in a couple hours she got up and that’s when I was able to get the shots”.
Not only had Hagen never seen anything like what she captured that day, it is likely not a lot of people have. She stated that only one in 30,000 mule deer are albino, however, the rarity may even be more staggering than that.
In a post from outdoorhub.com, they share that not even biologists have a definitive answer but some speculate that only one in 500,000 mule deer are born albino. Additionally, the post stated that albinism occurs in mule deer far less than in whitetail, with even few surviving into adulthood.
Hagan said it was a special moment and one that photographer can wait a lifetime for. Not only did she get perhaps the only shot of the albino mule deer, she was able to share the experience with her photography assistant, her 12 year-old daughter, Brooklyn.
“She’s the best and can probably run the camera better than I can. She always comes out with me and will spend hours, like on the day we camped out in the field, just waiting for the perfect shot,”said Hagen.
As for the photo’s, Hagen said she will be making a large print for her own personal use and will likely be making them available for purchase through her studio, Back Road Photography.