YubaNet.com
"I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell." - Harry Truman

 Latest   Regional   CA   US   World   Columns   Op-Ed   Sci/Tech   Life   Odd News   Cartoon 
Black Mule Deer Spotted In Winnemucca

By: Nevada Department of Wildlife
Published: Nov 17, 2007 at 08:36
Email this article

 Printer friendly page

Black deer photo courtesy NDOW
We have our fair share of wildlife legends here in the West. Bigfoot has been spotted all over the Pacific Northwest and Tahoe Tessie is seen from time to time patrolling the waters up at Lake Tahoe. So when locals in Winnemucca began reporting sightings of a solid black mule deer, some people may have started to get their nicknames ready for the next big legend of Nevada.

Mike Cox, big game biologist at the Nevada Department of Wildlife, has his own name for the phantom deer... he calls it a genetic alteration. It's not quite as catchy as Tahoe Tessie, but it does explain things.

"It looks like it fell into an oil spill, but obviously we don't have those in the middle of Nevada," jokes Cox. "There are genes that map out the characteristics of an animal in its embryonic stage. Sometimes it's a funky hoof, or a tweaked antler, or in this case the hairs of this mule deer are a different color than the normal mule. Sometimes there are recessive traits that are hidden in those genes that never see the light of day except for maybe one in a million, or one in two million."

NDOW biologist Ed Partee states that black mule deer have been spotted before in Nevada.

"We have seen these black deer in the past in Humboldt County, mainly in the

Jacksons, but we haven't seen it for quite some time," said Partee.

Cox reports that there appears to be nothing else out of the ordinary with the black mule deer doe other than its striking color.

"It's definitely unusual. We may never see it again for a generation, or 50 years, or we may see it next year," said Cox. "It's almost like slot machines. You have to pull that slot machine a long, long time until you get the right combination, and that's what happened with this melanistic mutation."

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW's wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen's license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. For more information, visit www.ndow.org.





Search




Advanced Search
Get the YubaNetAlert Weekly email newsletter featuring our latest regional stories and more

News Headlines
Nevada County Christmas Tree Recycling Information

Kirkwood Increases Number Of Women Participating In The Sport Of Skiing And Snowboarding

Weather and Climate Newsletter December 27, 2007

Betting on housing boom left Lincoln with huge bill

El Dorado County couple gets stuck overnight near Pollack Pines in their search for snow

Regional Op-Ed | Kathryn Gray: Good King Wenceslas On Donner Summit

Dogs plucked from death row get a second chance at happiness in Nevada County

The DeadBeats & Buck Love on Saturday Dec 27 in Nevada City

Christmas Eve Sky Show - an early Christmas gift

A different kind of treasure in California's Gold Rush country

More


  Copyright © 2007 YubaNet.com, all rights reserved.  
  Email your news release or opinion | Editorial Policy | Opinions published are solely the opinion of the author.   YubaNet.com