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Rumored white doe in crosshairs

Bob Austin shot a deer on his property Nov. 14 whose only color – other than white – was its blue eyes. The near-albino, a doe, had been rumored to be in the area before Austin spotted it in a wooded area. (Photo by Sandra Austin)

By David Knopf/Richmond News

Bob Austin had heard other hunters say they’d spotted what appeared to be a rare white deer.

Austin, 55, raises cattle and plants crops on his farm three miles north of Rayville. A luxury he enjoys is hunting on his own property, he said, which is divided half-and-half between wooded area and farmland.

“I’ve always hunted on my own property,” said Austin, who set out on the morning of Nov. 14 looking for deer. “I can’t remember the last time I hunted anywhere else.

“I had heard that there was an albino deer in the area. I was sitting there and all of a sudden I saw some deer flash by through there.”

Austin said he doesn’t know what prompted the deer to run through the woods, but when they stopped in a gap between trees he spotted something white.

In position to shoot, Austin said he sighted the whiteness – an easier target than a well-camouflaged brown deer – and fired.

The animal went down quickly, Austin said, and when he reached it he found an all-white doe. Its only color was its blue eyes.

“I had reservations about taking the deer and I talked to (Missouri Department of Conservation Agent) Tammy

(Pierson) about it and I talked to a friend about it, and they both said the chances of survival (for a white deer) weren’t very good,” Austin said.

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