Phil Klein peered into the woods from his deer stand in north-central Minnesota, hunting near his father, when he heard the sound of a doe bleating nearby.
“Five minutes later, this deer comes crashing out of the swamp, about 50 or 60 yards away,” Klein said. “At first I thought it was a doe, then I noticed it had antlers. But it looked really odd. I counted 8 points, so I shot.”
Klein, 29, and his dad, Jeff, 57, were in for a surprise.
“My dad came over to help me find it, and he got to the deer first. All I could hear him yell was ‘velvet!’ ”
The eight-point deer’s antlers were covered in velvet, which should have been long gone by November. “It was in full velvet, 100 percent perfect.”
Then Klein field-dressed the deer and noticed something else odd: “It didn’t have any male genitalia.”
His 8-point buck was actually an 8-point doe.
“It really didn’t dawn on me for a while,” Klein said. “Then at lunch I told my dad, ‘That thing’s a doe.’ He thought I was crazy.”
But the pair checked the gut pile for evidence they might have missed, and concluded the deer with male headgear was indeed a female. About 10 family members hunt in his group, and they were astounded.