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

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Canyon Ranch Roundup Part 2

Canyon Ranch Roundup Part 2

Bowhunter TV's Derek Mleynek and Equipment Editor Tony J. Peterson head to Texas for a late-season mixed bag hunt in a truly target-rich environment.

Early Season Kentucky Whitetail Bowhunt

Early Season Kentucky Whitetail Bowhunt

Christian Berg begins the scouting process in Kentucky on his first whitetail hunt of the season.

New for 2021: Hoyt RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum 30 and Ventum 33

New for 2021: Hoyt RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum 30 and Ventum 33

ATA 2021 NeDuring this video from the Archery Trade Association's New Product Premiere showcase, Bowhunter's TV Mike Carney visited with Evan Williams, pro staff manager for Hoyt Archery, to learn about the new RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum and Ventum 33 bows.w Product - Hoyt

Better Bow Practice: Pick a Spot When Aiming

Better Bow Practice: Pick a Spot When Aiming

On this edition of "Dead On," Hall-of-Fame bowhunter Randy Ulmer shares advice on picking a spot to aim at when practicing with your bow.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

New for 2021, here's a look at the new Rage Trypan NC, Nockturnal Shift Nock, Carbon Express Maxima RED Contour and D-Stroyer PileDRIVER arrows.New for 2021: Rage Broadhead, Nockturnal Nock, Carbon Express Arrows ATA Show

New for 2021: Rage Broadhead, Nockturnal Nock, Carbon Express Arrows

Curt Wells - January 19, 2021

New for 2021, here's a look at the new Rage Trypan NC, Nockturnal Shift Nock, Carbon Express...

The public needs to understand the value of harvested and consumed wild game.Understanding the Value of a Wild Game Harvest Industry

Understanding the Value of a Wild Game Harvest

Dr. Dave Samuel

The public needs to understand the value of harvested and consumed wild game.

Scouting is critical to consistent success and these trail cameras put you on the right path to big-game success.New Trail Cameras for 2021 ATA Show

New Trail Cameras for 2021

Brian K. Strickland - January 08, 2021

Scouting is critical to consistent success and these trail cameras put you on the right path...

The array of ultra-strong, easy-to-use, light and quiet aftermarket stick attachment options has never been more creative and compelling.Best New Climbing Stick Attachment Options Treestands & Blinds

Best New Climbing Stick Attachment Options

Bowhunter Staff - January 05, 2021

The array of ultra-strong, easy-to-use, light and quiet aftermarket stick attachment options...

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

Suddenly quiet, the bright-orange, one-time Danish Coast Guard boat drifted with the current, waterA Greenland Hunting Adventure to Remember Stories

A Greenland Hunting Adventure to Remember

Jeff Waring - January 02, 2018

Suddenly quiet, the bright-orange, one-time Danish Coast Guard boat drifted with the current,...

It's often said archers do it The Journey For A Longbow Super Slam Stories

The Journey For A Longbow Super Slam

Nathan L. Andersohn - July 31, 2018

It's often said archers do it "the hard way," but hunting with a longbow is, by far, the...

Most of us are aware of the threat from glad-handing politicians who would love to get their greedyWhy Public Hunting Land Is More Valuable Than Many Realize Stories

Why Public Hunting Land Is More Valuable Than Many Realize

Tony J. Peterson - January 30, 2018

Most of us are aware of the threat from glad-handing politicians who would love to get their...

Hunting seasons don't just happen in the fall. Editor Curt Wells details some spring bowhunting adventures to extend your time in the outdoors!Don't Forget About Spring Bowhunting Stories

Don't Forget About Spring Bowhunting

Curt Wells - March 20, 2018

Hunting seasons don't just happen in the fall. Editor Curt Wells details some spring...

See More Stories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

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.

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