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Deer wanders into MN business, headbutts owner, makes 'mischief'

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WILLMAR — A daytime intruder head-butted a rural Willmar business owner, jumped over counters and tipped over boxes before fleeing out of the door in which he arrived on Wednesday.

The "intruder" was a six-point buck, and the business place was Johnson Fur on South Highway 71, where workers are in the process of handling thousands of deer hides harvested in the last two weeks."It was something else,'' said business owner Scott Johnson. He took a set of six-point antlers to the ribs and stomach.

Johnson said he had a few tender ribs today, but otherwise was OK.

It all happened around 4 p.m. Wednesday. With warm weather, the front door to Johnson Fur was wide open.

Johnson said he was in his office when he heard a worker in a back room yelling his name. "I thought he just needed something,'' Johnson said.

He got up from his office desk and stepped around the corner. "Here it was, a big buck coming right to me,'' said Johnson, 67.

After butting into Johnson, the deer dashed into the back room. He jumped on the grading tables where hides are sorted and lots of paperwork was stacked. "He proceeded to make mischief of it,'' Johnson said.

"He kind of tore the place apart before we got it out of the door,'' he said.

Johnson said he was initially worried the deer might break its legs while running and jumping over everything, but was surprised by how agile the deer was. At one point it had even jumped atop a refrigerator.

Scott and Lynette Johnson's dog, a Jack Russell terrier, barked at the intruder and nipped at his heels while Johnson and workers yelled at the buck invader.

Johnson had been feeling nauseated that afternoon, and taking a set of antlers in the ribs and stomach didn't exactly help, he added. "It woke me up,'' he said, laughing.

This is the deer rutting season, so Johnson said he can only speculate that the smells from the deer hides inside of the building may be what attracted the buck. Perhaps he was looking for a lost love or sibling, laughed Lynette Johnson.

If the buck wasn't lucky in love, the six-pointer was at least lucky enough to escape Johnson Fur with his hide. After bounding out of the front door, the buck bolted right across Highway 71, and did not get hit by traffic.

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