An albino buck shot and slain by an 11-year-old hunter is evolving into a serious media sensation this week. Some viewers are seeing the boy’s prize as a perfect kill, while others view the loss of such a rare and stunning animal as anything less than sad. Either way, Gavin Dingman is proud of his hunting skill and his animal trophy, which is garnering him sudden, rising fame. United Press International News shares an update on this trending story this Wednesday, October 22, 2014, revealing that the lad’s photo with the animal has also elicited a firestorm of debate on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Gavin Dingman, an 11-year-old and budding crossbow sharp-shooter from Osceola Township, Michigan, never expected to make a truly noteworthy kill when he stepped out with his father earlier this month with Mick, an experienced hunter. Yet his family was shocked when they returned a short while later from their expedition bearing not just any deer, but an albino buck — an incredibly rare find, by all accounts.
Apparently, the father and son had seen the animal quite a few times before in the wilderness around their home. This nicknamed “ghost of the forest” was well-known by the time, and it was apparent that young Gavin wasn’t the only boy in the area intent on capturing the deer. The 11-year-old, who shared in an interview that his friends are still in awe of his “trophy” and his hunting skill, is now making the most of his newfound notoriety. His father added that other hunters in his neighborhood were also hoping to make the kill.
“The whole neighborhood is familiar with it. Quite a few of the guys in the neighborhood were trying to get it,” Mick offered in a statement to The Livingston Daily Press & Argus.
In this particular case, however, the slaying of the albino buck goes to the credit of the 11-year-old boy alone. Ann Arbor Live News shares that Gavin said he was able to kill the “white” deer with a single shot from his crossbow. His aim was true, and though he was initially said to have hesitated (the buck is a full 12 pointer), the young hunter managed to take down the rare animal swiftly.
With only an approximate one in 20,000 to 25,000 deer being estimated to be born albino (without regular pigmentation), this factor was something his father warned him to take extra care of before shooting the buck. Yet once Gavin had decided that he wanted to try and shoot the rare animal, his crossbow shot was apparently right on the mark.
“My dad was just like, ‘Take a deep breath. Are you sure you can take the shot? If you’re not 100 percent, we don’t want to injure it,'” remarked Gavin to a news source.
Yet even with this story already becoming a viral hit across the Internet, there is some serious controversy surrounding the 11-year-old’s slaying of this fleeting beast. After the photo of Gavin holding his crossbow and standing over the albino buck made it to Facebook and Twitter, thousands of commenters began making both supportive and negative posts about the issue. Is it a case of a perfect kill, or indeed a tragic loss in the sport of recreational hunting? That opinion still remains up to the viewer. Where do you stand on the buzzworthy subject?
Regardless, the boy is proud of his skill and isn’t listening to any of the harsh reactions to his prize. The family is apparently also planning to visit a pricey taxidermist in order to mount the full animal somewhere in their home. Many local Michigan radio stations and news outlets are choosing to stand beside Gavin and his dead deer trophy, not letting the critics on Facebook dim his success. As mentioned by Michigan Out-of-Doors just last week in a social media post:
“We’re doing our best to keep the negative comments off the Facebook page and will continue to do so as they pour in,” the station wrote. “Thank you to all of you supporting Gavin, it’s a great accomplishment and something to be proud of!”