I used to hunt a man's land in Chatham County, NC about 30 years ago that had a white doe. The man who owned the land would only give permission to hunt as long as you let the white deer pass. He also gave permission to let a high school neighbor boy to hunt there with the same condition. That fool killed the white doe and the old man closed off hunting access to everybody.
In 1998 I used to live and work at a breeding compound for third world endangered carnivores (Tigers, Leopards, Jaguars, Ocelots, Servals, Caracals, Lynx, etc.). On my 28th birthday, on December 18th, a woman called us about a white deer that she and a friend had rescued out of Jordan Lake. A pack of dogs had chased it into the lake and wouldn't let it come back to shore. It was getting exhausted swimming in circles in the freezing water. The women got an inflatable raft, blew it up, broke the ice at the shore, paddled out to the middle of the lake in December, and hauled the deer back to shore. They took it to a horse barn where it was in shock and shivering badly. Initially, she called the Wildlife department and they told her to let nature take its course and whatever happens, happens. They said that their department was about wildlife management, enforcement, and protection, but were not doing rehabilitation. Next, they called the forestry people, who told her that they were all about trees, not deer, and that the women should call the Wildlife department. Because we rescued animals of many types, they called us next. The director asked me to go check the deer out and if it was injured, to take it off site, away from the women and finish it. If it was healthy, then I'd bring it back to the compound where we could give it a place to recover.
The doe didn't look good when I got there because she wouldn't stand and was shivering uncontrollably. I lifted up her front end and put her weight on her hind legs to make sure she wasn't paralyzed. She was able to drive off her hind legs, but she had no balance because of her shivering. We strapped her hind legs to her front legs so she couldn't kick, and I held her in the back seat of an Isuzu Trooper as we made the 18 mile drive back to the compound. I took her inside the house and laid her down on my sleeping bag beside the wood stove, where it was warm. I went outside to gather up a big bunch of honeysuckle off the fence for her to eat. She would not get up, but was more relaxed and not shivering anymore. She let me scratch her neck at the base of her head and she seemed to enjoy it. We named her Jane Doe.
About 6:30 P.M. we got a call that somebody down the road had hit a screech owl with their car and wondered if we could help it. They brought it to us in a shoebox. I half expected it to be pulpy mess of bloody matted feathers that barely resembled an owl. I brought it in the house and when I opened the shoe box and it was unconscious. I stroked the owl's head a few times, the little owl opened his eyes, flew out of the box, straight up the stairwell to the second floor, barely missing the spinning ceiling fan. Since it was low light up there, I left the owl alone and back went over to the deer. She wouldn't eat apples, because she may not have ever seen any before. She hit that honeysuckle like a mower though. I had brought in about 3/4ths of a bushel basket of honeysuckle and the deer ate most of it. A little after midnight I went to bed. At around 2:30 AM I woke to the sound of the deer's hooves clicking on the tile floor of the kitchen as she was walking around checking things out. I opened my bedroom door, and the owl was sitting on the phone desk mounted to the wall just outside the door to my room. It whipped it's head around, but didn't fly off. I eased down the stairs and sat down on the bottom step. The deer walked over to me and I leaned back to look at the owl that was looking down the stairs at me. It was an odd but very cool feeling having two wild animals inside the house that were calmly riding out the cold night. I ran a bowl of water for the deer and she drank quite a bit of it. She looked alert and would check out every sound she heard. I knew she would survive. Before dawn, I caught the owl, put it back in the shoe box, and turned the owl loose back near the back of the property where there was hundreds of acres for it to hang out. It had been struck by the car less than a mile down the road from the compound, so I'm sure it went back to its normal range.
The next morning, I carried the deer out to the compound where the big cats were and turned her loose. There were some other wild deer that also lived inside the compound full time. She trotted towards where they were grazing at the edge of the woods, but they shied away and went to cover (probably had never seen a white deer before). I'm sure Jane Doe smelled like the sleeping bag, the house, and fireplace, so I can't blame the other deer from not wanting to hang out with Jane. The tigers, jaguars, and leopards were going nuts trying to get at that white doe, but she stayed away from any of their compounds and wandered the strips of woods near the perimeter fence. Like the other deer, she headed for cover. The next day that white deer would only come to me or allow me to touch her. The following day, we released her on a friend of mine's property about 15 miles away with over 1,300 acres to safely roam. He also put the word out in their community that the white deer was off limits and anybody who killed her was next. The next spring, she had twin white fawns and to this day, 25 years later, they see white deer in that area regularly.
I know I have some pictures of her that I'll have to find, scan, and post here. It was one of the most memorable birthdays I ever had.
Luck Counts, good or bad