Reporting John Lauritsen
CALEDONIA, Minn. (WCCO) — A southeastern Minnesota deer farmer is in shock over the loss of his prized trophy buck.
Police believe a 19-year-old Rushford man entered the property early last Thursday morning and shot a 21-point buck with a bow and arrow.
The deer was near world-record size, according to the Boone and Crockett website.
“He was a 3-and-a-half-year-old buck. He was the product of many years of breeding and genetics,” said the deer’s owner, who has been raising deer for 15 years. “It’s completely devastating … We don’t know exactly how to keep going when something of this magnitude happens.”
The deer’s owner didn’t want to be identified, but he said the buck was living on his brother’s farm with 24 other deer.
Around 2:30 a.m. last Thursday, someone trespassed into the pen and killed the deer. So far, the evidence leads to the Rushford man. Police believe he cut through a fence to pull the buck out.
Two other deer are still missing. Also missing is their sense of security.
“You don’t get that back. We haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since this happened. Any little noise you hear, people slowing down on the road, anything. You don’t recover from that. You wake up instantly. You don’t get a half hour straight of sleep,” said the owner.
There’s a chance the buck may have one day grown to world-record status, but the deer’s owner and his brother will never know. What they hope for now is that the shooter will be brought to justice.
“I don’t know who this person is or anything about them, and I don’t care to. I know what I need to know about him and that’s what he did to us,” said the owner.
The Houston County Sheriff’s Department said the 19-year-old could be charged as early as Wednesday.
The two deer still missing from the farm have yellow tags in their ears.
If anyone comes across them, they are urged to contact the Houston County Sheriff’s Department.