Alabama Bowhunter Gets a Surprise
Craig Bradford was hunting on Halloween morning in Jackson County, Alabama. Just after daybreak he saw a deer come through the woods, pulled back his bow, and shot it. He thought it was a black doe, which is a melanistic whitetail deer with all black fur.
Melanism is rare in whitetails and results in animals with coats that are often jet black. Cases of semi-melanism also exist in nature where the animal will have lighter patches of fur, said Chris Cook, the state's deer study leader.
Wildlife biologists told Bradford that his deer was one of the rare melanistic whitetail does. Bradford was excited about that possibility, however after closer inspection, it is believed to be a Sika stag. Maryland has a wild population of Sika stags, but how the deer ended up in Alabama is a mystery. There are no facilities around that would have been home to the deer. Sikas are native to some Asian countries.
Bradford is considering having a full body mount done of the Sika. "I was just curious what it was," he said. "I won't ever forget it anyway. It's not every day something like that comes walking through the woods." From Al.com.