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The Deer Hunter? Czech police search for missing rifle stolen by deer

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FILE PHOTO: A fallow deer is seen in an animal park at Raisdorf nearby Kiel, northern Germany, Monday, March 15, 2010.
FILE PHOTO: A fallow deer is seen in an animal park at Raisdorf nearby Kiel, northern Germany, Monday, March 15, 2010.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Heribert Proepper
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Czech police have appealed for help in an unusual case after a deer stole a hunter's rifle and fled with the gun on its antlers.

The animal had charged directly towards one of a hunting party in the woods around Horní Planá on Friday, after being startled by a dog.

The deer ripped the sleeve of the hunter's jacket, and the 22 Hornet repeating rifle became attached to its antler, police said on Tuesday.

"The rifle the hunter had hung on his left hand slid down the deer's antler, fortunately without ammunition and magazine, and disappeared with the deer."

Another hunter later spotted the deer about a mile away with the rifle still attached to its antlers.

The hunting party and authorities searched the forest but have not been able to recover the weapon.

The missing rifle was reported to police under the Weapons and Ammunition Act, and police have added that anyone who finds the rifle is obliged to hand it over to the nearest police department.