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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Lucky shot

  • Jayson Fisher won't forget his first shot at deer hunting.
    It was a direct hit.
    In one pull of the trigger, the Hannibal High School sophomore had his first deer.
    But this was no ordinary deer. It was a button buck (a deer without antlers) and a rare form of its kind. Jayson shot himself an albino deer.
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  • Jayson Fisher won't forget his first shot at deer hunting.
    It was a direct hit.
    In one pull of the trigger, the Hannibal High School sophomore had his first deer.
    But this was no ordinary deer. It was a button buck (a deer without antlers) and a rare form of its kind. Jayson shot himself an albino deer.
    "I was trying to keep myself warm because it's freezing cold and Dad happens to look up and see a white deer," Jayson said. "Didn't know what it was. He looked at it for a minute, he turned his head. Dad noticed it was the albino deer we've seen before."
    A friend's deer cam captured the rare animal a short time back. Jayson and his father, James Fisher, weren't searching for that specific deer either when they headed out Sunday morning. Just a shot at a deer was good enough. However, fate was working behind the scenes.
    "We knew it was there in the area, didn't think about it," James Fisher said. It didn't matter one way or the other."
    Deer with albinism are about one in 30,000, said Emily Flinn, a deer biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation in Columbia. But she also said that ratio can vary.
    "It's rare to find an albino in Missouri. Some states have regulations where you can't harvest them, that's due more to cultural effect than it is biological," she said. "There's some traits that coincide with albinism. They can be blind, they can have skeletal deformities, shorter mandibles, those types of things that would decrease their ability to survive. We wouldn't want those traits to become more prevalent or abundant in the population."
    Once Jayson spotted the deer, he waited for the right moment, the sure shot that would get him his hunting prize of the day.
    "I picked up my gun and I looked through my scope, didn't really notice anything out of the ordinary. Then it turned its head. At first I thought it was a doe, but it turned out to be a button buck," Jayson said. "When it finally turned broadside, I shot and hit it right below the ears. It was awesome. I was definitely bragging about it (at school). No one believed it."
    Jayson only spent part of Monday at school. His parents pulled him out so he could accompany his dad to Howard Barnes Taxidermy where the snow white deer will be mounted, and the hide will be preserved for personal display. The deer's unique hooves, which were practically transparent, will be salvaged for a gun rack.
    And the meat, the family plans to cook it.
    "I was pretty excited," James Fisher said. "He did pretty good."
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