updated 11/22/2007 11:19:31 PM ET 2007-11-23T04:19:31

A man says he shot and killed a neighbor's cow after mistaking it for a coyote.

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Authorities and the owner are skeptical.

The undersheriff in northern Michigan's Benzie County says he doesn't see how anyone could confuse a 1,400-pound, pregnant cow with a coyote, which typically weighs 20 to 45 pounds.

And anyway, shooting coyotes is illegal during deer-shooting season. Authorities asked the county prosecutor to bring charges.

The 42-year-old man told authorities he was out to shoot coyotes near his home Saturday when he killed the cow, Undersheriff Rory Heckman said. Heckman said the man then tried to drag the cow home.

"The part of his story he his holding to is he shot at a coyote. I don't know how he hit a several-thousand-pound cow mistaking it for a coyote," Heckman said.

The cow, named Hannah, had wandered away from her farm.

"My husband thought that he should go through some therapy looking at repeated pictures of cows and coyotes, because they look nothing alike," said owner DeAnn Mosher. "It didn't make any sense to me."

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