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First-time 12-year-old Missouri deer hunter bags rare doe with antlers

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, odds of harvesting a doe with antlers are 1-in-5,000.
Lindy Sutherland
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FAIR GROVE, Mo. — 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.

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Credit: Smith, Jeanie

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."

To hear the rest of Lindy's story visit our affiliate, KY3's website by clicking here.

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.