An unusual visitor has appeared at King River Station, about 30 kilometres south of Katherine in the Northern Territory.
A large deer has been spotted several times over the past few days, helping itself to hay in a weaner paddock near the house.
Station owner Judith Tapp was the first to see the creature, and says she couldn't quite believe her eyes.
"Well I was just heading out, quite early in the morning, to go and feed my horses, and noticed a strange looking beast on a bale of hay," she said.
"It didn't look quite like one of the weaners which should have been there, and on closer inspection it was a deer.
"So I promptly dropped my armful of hay, and raced back inside the house, yelling 'there's a deer, there's a deer', getting everyone up to have a look."
Judith's husband Joe says he was equally taken aback by the new arrival.
"Yeah well I was surprised to see the deer like everyone else, but I was surprised by the horns actually, it had a big set of racks on it, must have been about a metre long either side," he said.
"I'm getting all sorts of advice about it, one fella said he would hunt it down for as long as it took, he said he would go for twenty miles until he caught it.
"Someone else said we should have shot and eaten it.
"I wouldn't be shooting it, I would just try and get it a bit quiet and if we can get it close enough to catch it, or run it into the yard, I was thinking about breaking it in."
While it may seem highly unusual, this is not the first time a deer has been spotted in the region.
In December 2006, Lakefield Station owner Gary Riggs advised his children Santa had crash-landed on the property, after spotting a 'reindeer' during a routine bore run.
Around this time last year, pastoralist Jay Mohr-Bell was also taken by surprise when a deer jumped out in front of his vehicle on nearby Mathison Station.
The latest sighting coincides with the beginning of the Top End wet-season, which has left Mr Tapp in no doubt as to the type of deer he is now sharing the station with.
"It is definitely a 'rain' deer."
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