Skip to main content Skip to main content

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

Popular Videos

Kansas Turkey Bowhunt

Kansas Turkey Bowhunt

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

Texas Hog and Whitetail Hunt

Texas Hog and Whitetail Hunt

Bowhunter TV Editor Derek Mleynek sets up for some hog and whitetail hunting at Canyon Ranch in Texas.

Tree Saddle Hunting: Tree Climbing with an Aider

Tree Saddle Hunting: Tree Climbing with an Aider

Go farther, hunt deeper, and trek lighter while enjoying all-day comfort with the newest tree saddle hunting gear and tactics.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Bowhunter App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

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

Get the top Bowhunter stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

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