‘Alien deer’: Hunter gets surprise of his life after shooting what he thought was 20-point ‘buck’

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(Photo Credit: Steven Johnston)

RUSHMERE, Va. (WJW) — Steven Johnston, 46, has been hunting since the age of 11, when his stepfather bought him his very first shotgun — a Mossberg 500.

“I shot two deer the first time hunting with it,” he said. “He taught me everything I know about hunting. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have the passion for hunting that I have.”

In the 35 years since, he’s bagged many deer, at least six of which he has mounted on his walls. But nothing prepared him for what happened during a hunt that almost didn’t happen on his own property this week.

“I’m speechless,” he said. “I really don’t even know what to say and how to say it. I’m just a poor boy from Portsmouth, Virginia, who loves to be in the woods.”

It was Nov. 15, and he’d just gotten to his tree stand on his five-acre property. It was 2 p.m., which he said is normally too late in the day for him to want to hunt. But the wind was perfect, and he stuck around.

“The wind died down tremendously for some reason right around dusk,” he said. “At 5 p.m., that thing stepped right out and was walking with the wind, which is unheard of.”

He saw three forks sticking up and, at first, almost let the deer pass. But his wife wanted a unique skull mount for decorations, and he thought this deer would be perfect. He shot with his Beretta Outlander, and the deer went down.

Upon closer inspection, he saw the deer had 20 points growing every which way.

“I stepped back…and it literally startled me,” he said. “An alien deer.”

The real shocker came when he got the deer to his truck.

“I looked down, and it had nipples,” he said. “I shot a female buck.”

The deer also had female genitalia. Johnston called the game warden when he didn’t know whether to tag the deer as a female or a male. Because of the horns, he was told to tag it as a buck.

The National Deer Association told “Field and Stream” online magazine that such oddities can happen when abnormal amounts of testosterone are produced.

“My taxidermist…was speechless when he saw it,” said Johnston. “People say I got the ugliest deer in Virginia.”

Over the last few days, Johnston said he’s been overwhelmed with the attention he’s gotten over the deer and photos he posted online.

He was even interviewed for a story with “Field and Stream.”

He said he owes it all to his stepfather, Steve Cohn, who started it all. He passed away three years ago from cancer.

“Every deer I’ve shot since then, I’ve looked up and said ‘thank you’,” he said. “He taught me everything I know. The last few days have been real emotional for me because of talking about my stepfather. It’s just pretty cool.”

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