It was no joking matter when a central Minnesota deer hunting party discovered that one of the carcasses from a successful deer hunting opener was missing.
The group of hunters from Millwood Township in Stearns County had several deer hanging from trees on their property Sunday afternoon, but returned and realized one of the deer was missing, KSTP reports.
After taking a minute to verify they had not been the victim of a friendly prank, the group called 911 to report the stolen deer.
According to the report, the hunters recalled seeing a silver car leave the area with a small buck tied to the top of it. They drove in the direction the car had gone and found it with the deer still attached.
According to FOX 9, the hunters were able to identify the deer because of a colored latex glove that was tied around one of the deer's legs by the hunter who shot it.
Deputies were able to catch up with the car in Upsala, and according to the St. Cloud Times, talked to the 34-year-old Rice man driving it.
"The driver of the silver car admitted that he had been hunting and wasn't successful so when saw the deer hanging from the tree he decided to cut one down and take it."
At first the hunters thought the missing deer was taken as a joke.
"The guy from Rice was hunting in Birch Lake State Forest and he was disappointed because he didn't get a deer," Stearns County Chief Deputy Bruce Bechtold told the newspaper. "Apparently, that group of guys plays jokes on one another."
The deer was returned to the hunter.
The man was not arrested, but he could face theft and other charges from the incident. Bechtold said the matter will be referred to the county attorney's office for possible charges once the value of the deer is determined.