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The Mystery of the Island Deer

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A couple weeks ago I visited Orcas Island in the San Jauns and took the picture above. When I first saw the creature I thought it was an escaped goat. Turns out it’s just a little white-speckled Bambi. I have never seen a deer like this. I asked my friend Jerry, a resident of the island for thirty-plus years, about the creature and he gave me the Legend of the White buck.

When he first came to Orcas in the early seventies the island was inhabited by a beautiful pure white buck. The taxidermical lure of this incredible creature was apparently too hard to resist. Someone killed it. And stuffed it.

For years later the island had a legacy white-speckled deer–the obvious result of the prolific and dearly departed white buck. But after a while all the white-speckled deers vanished.

In the past year white speckled deers have reappeared on the island. No one knows why the the deer gene pool has taken a such a left turn, but they sure are cool to look at.

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  1. A friend and I saw a pure white deer there once, years ago (mid-1990s or so). We both thought we had lost our minds—it was there one moment, so strange looking and beautiful, and then off and away.

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