First-time 12-year-old deer hunter from Fair Grove, Mo. bags doe with antlers
A seventh grade girl in Fair Grove got a big surprise and a science lesson when she went on her very first deer-hunting trip.
And it's something she'll be telling her grandchildren about someday.
12 year-old Lindy Sutherland usually gets her adrenaline rush from playing basketball at Fair Grove.
"I had never wanted to deer hunt," she said.
But at the urging of her father, she joined him in the woods this past week during the youth firearms deer hunting season with a .243 rife.
"It was pretty hard to keep a 12 year-old interested," her father Brian said. "We get in the blind with seven granola bars and four bottles of water and she's looking at her phone and so it was pretty comical whether we actually saw a deer or not."
But they did. And what happened next was even more exciting than a basketball game as Lindy's very first shot bagged what they thought was an eight-point buck.
"I was scared so I don't even remember it," Lindy recalled.
"I just happened to look (at the deer as they were loading it into the truck) and I thought something is not exactly right," Brian said.
"I was like, what's wrong?" Lindy asked.
"I said I think you've shot something that's not like anybody else usually shoots," Brian said.
"He goes, 'it's a doe'," Lindy said. "I said, with antlers? He said, 'yeah, that's weird'".
"She goes, 'am I in trouble'? Brian said with a laugh. "I said no, you're not in trouble but it is a rarity."
"Wow, what a way to remember your first hunt," added Francis Skalicky with the Mo. Department of Conservation.
Depending on where you live, the odds can run as high as 1-in-5,000 of harvesting a doe with antlers.
"It's rare but not unheard of," Skalicky explained. "We have a little over a million deer in Missouri. Anytime you have a large population, you're going to have some outliers. It's either a doe with a high amount of testosterone or a true hermaphrodite deer which is basically half-and-half in the gender spectrum."
Back in 2015, we brought you the story of a Billings man who killed a 22-point doe. But even long-time hunters like Lindy's dad were dumbfounded by the anomaly.
"Google's been busy with me," Brian said. "I've Googled everything on 'em."
And Lindy admits she may have bragged to her classmates about her once-in-a-lifetime moment.
"Just a little bit," she said with a smirk. "Just a little bit."
"I've been braggin' because she's my kid," Brian added. "It's so rare so there's no reason that you wouldn't want to."
The Department of Conservation says they encounter a handful of these stories every so often. But when asked the craziest story he's ever encountered, Skalicky recounts a Missouri poacher who shot a turkey out of season and put it in his car trunk.
"And he opened his trunk and apparently the bird had just been stunned," Skalicky recalled. "It started flopping around and he had a shotgun in the trunk. The spur of the bird caught on the trigger and shot the hunter in the leg. And the sheriff's quote was 'it looks like the turkeys are finally fighting back'".
Does with antlers aren't the only unusual deer out there...There are also albino and melanistic whitetails. Albino being all white,
melanistic being all black.