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Mahnomen County hunter shoots through woman's SUV

An elderly woman got a scare Wednesday morning when the opposing side windows of her GMC Yukon shattered while she was driving on County Road 21 between White Earth village and Richwood.

Virginia Christensen, 81, was shaken up but not injured in the incident, said her stepdaughter, Barb Christensen.

A deer ran into the side of the Yukon, but the family thinks the window was actually shattered by a bullet fired by a hunter pursuing the deer.

"We have a theory about what happened," Barb said from her home in Muskatine, Iowa.

"I was bringing my stepmom back to Iowa, from a summer cabin on McCraney Lake in Mahnomen County," Barb said. "My dad (Marvin) was in front of me, my stepmom was following me in the Yukon and I lost sight of her. Then I got a call on my cell phone. She said 'my windows are blown out -- I need you to come back.'"

The Yukon's driver's side window was "completely blown out," Barb said, and the passenger side window was badly spiderwebbed but still intact, except for a 2-3 inch hole in the glass.

"Glass was blown all over the inside of the car," Barb said. "She was covered with glass -- the sideview mirror was on her lap -- it had blown in the car."

Barb called 911 and a DNR conservation officer responded. The officer said a deer had run into the side of the Yukon and that's what caused the glass to shatter. Barb said the DNR officer didn't seem to think a bullet had caused the damage.

But the deer hit the body panel, not the window glass, Barb said, and how to explain that hole in the passenger side window?

"We think a hunter was shooting at that deer and the bullet went through the car," she said.

The deer was killed in the collision and another motorist claimed it for the meat, she said.

The Yukon was taken to a repair shop in the area to be fixed and stored for the winter.

"My stepmother is still pretty shook up," Barb said, "especially since we think somebody fired a shot through the car."