Wisconsin brothers capture a rare white deer on camera while up north

The Bushaw brothers were on vacation when an all-white doe stepped out in front of their car
Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 10:35 AM CDT
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MANITOWISH WATERS, Wis. (WMTV) -A pair of brothers originally from Janesville came across quite the rare sight in northern Wisconsin last week. A white deer crossed right in front of their car, and it was all caught on camera.

Brandon and Kyle Bushaw were in shock as the deer stepped out of the woods and onto Highway 51 in Vilas County.

“It felt pretty surreal,” said Brandon. “It felt like it wasn’t really happening,”

The brothers were on a family vacation and were on their way back to Eagle River from Manitowish Waters. Younger brother and current Madison resident Kyle was driving and first spotted the deer.

“I says holy crap, what was that?” said Kyle. “That was not a dog. It was big and it was bright white,”

The brothers turned around to confirm what Kyle saw. Sure enough, Brandon saw it too. So, they turned around again. Brandon was in the passenger seat and started filming on his phone.

“And right as we rolled up, it was probably 10 feet in front of us, and it came out of the ditch. You can see in the video it just perfectly crosses over the highway,” said Brandon.

The brothers pulled over and watched as the doe made her way across the road and back into the woods.

“I couldn’t believe it was happening because I’m born and raised in Wisconsin and a lot of my friends are and I can’t think of a single person I know that has seen an albino or a white deer,” said Brandon.

“It was definitely a surprise for us and probably a once-in-a-lifetime thing for a lot of people, so it was pretty cool,” added Kyle.

The moment was so special – the brothers had to show mom.

“My mom cried when she saw it because she thought it was so beautiful. She thought it was a sign of a blessing and cried,” said Brandon.

According to MaLenna Smith with Protect the White Deer, an organization in Wisconsin, seeing a white or albino deer is extremely rare and something most people won’t experience in their lifetime. Smith is certain the deer the Bushaw brothers saw was a white deer and not an albino.

She says we do see a few more white deer pop up in Wisconsin because they have been protected in the state since 1940. She says the most quoted statistic is 1 in every 20,000 deer is a white deer.

An albino deer is even rarer. The difference between a white deer and an albino is in the eyes and hooves. Albino deer will have pinkish eyes and hooves.

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