Black Magic



Melanistic (black) deer are even rarer than albino deer. Even more rare are 10-point, 4 1/2-year old melanistic bucks -- exactly what Virginia bowhunter Mike Kaczor bagged this year in Iowa. No official records are kept on melanistic deer, but Kaczor's buck is most likely the largest black whitetail ever killed by a bowhunter.


So rare are melanistic whitetails that scientific literature reports only that the coloration exists, but gives no numbers regarding its prevalence. Melanism results from an overproduction of a pigment called melanin. With over six million deer taken each year in North America, only a handful show this coloration. For whatever reason, most of these come from an eight-county region in central Texas.

Mike Kaczor was hunting in Iowa when he first got word of some dark-colored deer there, but he gave it little thought. Then, about 10:30 a.m. on the first day of his two-week hunt, he heard a noise in a creek bottom and saw a deer emerge as it visited a scrape and then a rub tree.


Man, that deer is dark, Kaczor thought. His arrow covered the 14 yards in an instant, passing through the buck's chest. After waiting 45 minutes, Kaczor followed the blood trail across two oxbows along the creek bottom. As he crested the second oxbow, no more than 100 yards from his stand, he found his prize.

In case you're wondering, Kaczor is getting a full-body mount of his piece of history -- a deer he now calls Black Magic!

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Kansas Turkey Bowhunt

Kansas Turkey Bowhunt

Bowhunter contributor Matt Palmquist sets up shop for a turkey hunt in Kansas.

Daytime Bighead Carp Bowfishing

Daytime Bighead Carp Bowfishing

Curt Wells is with members of the Muzzy Bowfishing team as they set their sights on bighead carp during the day in Kentucky.

Kentucky Bowfishing Competition

Kentucky Bowfishing Competition

Bowhunter Editor Curt Wells has a friendly bowfishing competition with members of the Muzzy Bowfishing team on Kentucky Lake.

Dead On: Picking a Spot

Dead On: Picking a Spot

On this edition of "Dead On," Hall-of-Fame bowhunter Randy Ulmer shares advice on picking a spot.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Black bear meat is dark and rich, and delicious ground up in this Pâté chaud recipe. Recipes

Vietnamese Black Bear Pté Chaud (Meat Pie) Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Black bear meat is dark and rich, and delicious ground up in this Pâté chaud recipe.

Here's how to choose vanes that will yield the best accuracy, forgiveness, and trajectory. Arrows & Broadheads

What Are the Best Vanes For Hunting?

Joe Bell

Here's how to choose vanes that will yield the best accuracy, forgiveness, and trajectory.

Chasing predators is great for calming big-game nerves. Other Game

Tips for Bowhunting Predators

Joe Bell

Chasing predators is great for calming big-game nerves.

Follow this advice before embarking on your first hunt! Big Game

Beginner's Guide to Bowhunting Mule Deer

Ron Niziolek

Follow this advice before embarking on your first hunt!

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

My family and I are opportunity hunters. No matter the species, if there is an open season, odds Stories

Hunting Seasons Are Full of Life Lessons

Fred Eichler - December 15, 2017

My family and I are opportunity hunters. No matter the species, if there is an open season,...

I was sure I was going to have a great season this year. I was shooting well and scouting trips Stories

Tough Hunting Season? You're Not Alone.

Fred Eichler - February 20, 2018

I was sure I was going to have a great season this year. I was shooting well and scouting trips

As hunters, we need to give the respect we want to receive from others. Stories

Respect for the Hunt & Other Hunters

Dwight Schuh

As hunters, we need to give the respect we want to receive from others.

Choosing to bowhunt during gun season certainly adds an extra layer of difficult to and already Stories

Yes, You Can Bowhunt During Gun Season

Bowhunter TV - November 20, 2014

Choosing to bowhunt during gun season certainly adds an extra layer of difficult to and already

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Bowhunter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now