Indiana Hunter Has Eye For Albino Game

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The Evansville Courier & Press has the unusual story of David Gish who apparently has had more than a passing interest in albino (lack of coloration or pigment) game. His most recent trophy is an albino turkey but according to the article that's certainly not his only all-white harvest.

Gish is no stranger to stumbling across albino wildlife. He bagged a rare albino cottontail rabbit a few years ago and since then he's taken two albino whitetail deer. He's even caught a couple of all-white catfish from the Ohio River. He reports he's seen albino songbirds and at least one white raccoon over his years afield. He makes note of when and where he spots these critters and usually takes pains to hunt them.


groovy mike's picture

Pretty long odds to believe IMHO.

I have heard of albino deer in my local area and seen photos of them.  But I have never seen them with my own eyes.  I have seen pie-bald deer – those that are white and brown or white with brown patches.  There is a buck not far from my place that has an all white body and a brown head.  That all albino deer was semi tame as people would stop their cars and watch it whenever it was near the roadside.  The hunter who shot it was reviled in the local press for weeks afterwards.

What seems most unusual about this story to me is that this hunter actively seeks the albino game.  Most hunters that I know deliberately avoid shooting these rare animals.  Many old legends hold that albino animals are sacred, or even cursed.  There is a medieval legend that says that a man who kills an albino stag will never kill another deer (either because the hunter will soon die or because his hunter’s luck will abandon him).  Neither case is a danger that I am willing to risk! So if I see albino game I would let it pass unharmed.

The odds of so many true albino animals falling to one hunter is pretty phenomenal.  There are of course white domestic rabbits and white domestic turkeys.  And there are breeds of catfish that have developed in caves that are white with pink eyes.  They can be bought in pet shops and I know a family that keeps them with white cave frogs in a big aquarium.  They are pretty cool and would be super rare to run across above ground in the natural world unless they have had human assistance in being relocated.  I have even seen a white turkey with wild turkeys but it never occurred to that it was an albino I just assumed that it was a tame turkey that had gone feral when the wild flock had passed through some farm.  I think the turkey and rabbit are very much more likely to be either escaped pets, released domestic bred animals, or at the very most some sort of cross breed with domestic stock.  But you never know.  This guy might just be the one in a hundred-gazzillion chance to stumble across a string of true albinos.  Stranger things have happened.  But I’m just inclined to doubt it.

hunter25's picture

This is really cool as I've

This is really cool as I've been hunting my whole life and have yet to see even one albino game animal let alone several. I have heard of a couple being seen here in Colorado but don't know of anyone who has taken one yet. I know in some states it's not legal but not sure which ones anymore as the laws have changed.

When I was a kid I spotted and pursued a black gray squirrel without success but that is the most unusual variation I have ever seen.

Hopefully oneday I will at least get the chance to enjoy seeing one and if really lucky hunt it also. I agree about the turkey though as a true albino should not have colored eyed as far as I know.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Pretty cool story.  Amazing

Pretty cool story.  Amazing that he keeps running in to albino game of all types. 

I can understand things like targeting turkey or deer, because you can see them ahead of time and specifically go after them.  However, a catfish, or a rabbit???  You can't really find them ahead of time, so it's pretty much dumb luck.

The only thing that is odd is that the turkey had blue eyes.  I thought albinoism caused pink eyes.  Maybe it is a cross between a domesticted white turkey and a wild one, as some suggested.

Either way, very neat!