MICHIGAN, N.D. - When Carmen Erickson dropped a deer with a single shot in a cattail slough south of here, he thought he'd downed a nice buck. Unlike his shot, he was a little off. The deer was a doe.
"It's got no male utilities," said Erickson, who lives in Minot. "It has teats ... it was pretty unusual."
Six hunting partners with Erickson witnessed the doe with a 4-by-4 rack.
"I'm sure this story will be around for 10 years," he said. "At least in our group."
Erickson notified the state Game and Fish Department and received a voice mail from a biologist who said these types of deer often are bucks whose testicles haven't descended or for some reason are castrated. Erickson said that is not the case with his deer, however.
"We couldn't find any male genitals on the deer," he said.
"We turned it over, and I got a lot of heat over that. Like I was supposed to know," Erickson joked.
Gary Rankin, district game warden in Larimore, said he has seen a couple of antlered does over the years, but for a doe to have a well-developed rack is unusual.
It is not the first antlered doe to be reported in the region this year. A conservation officer for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported seeing a 10-point antlered doe shot near Robbin, Minn., during that state's firearms deer season. DNR conservation officers in other parts of Minnesota also reported a handful of antlered does.
Erickson said the antlered doe is a first for his crew, which has been hunting together for 25 years.
"It definitely was a keeper, he said.