Minnesota hunter takes rare buck with three main beams [photo]
Hinckley, Minn. — Doug Champagne had done some mowing for the crew at St. Croix State Park in east-central Minnesota earlier this year, and, he said, he took note of its potential as a producer of deer.
Champagne, who works construction in the Twin Cities metro area, said he didn’t notice anything unusual about the buck when he first saw it, hot on the trail of a doe coming toward him in the Pine County park. The wind was working against the hunter, and the doe scented him at about 30 yards, wheeled, and turned, running right past the trailing buck. The buck stopped for just a couple of seconds, giving him a chance to shoot.
Once he located the deer, Champagne took note of the odd headgear. In the time since the Nov. 18 kill, he said he’s done a bit of research on whitetail racks with more than two beams. It doesn’t seem there are many out there, he said. For that reason, he said he’s planning to have a shoulder mount created of the buck.
While he’d visited the state park earlier in October, when his daughter took part in a youth firearms hunt, this time it was a “solo mission,” he said.
“It was a three-hour drag all by my lonesome,” Champagne said. “(But) it was worth it.”
He said the dressed buck weighed about 80 pounds, and added that the permit to hunt St. Croix State Park allows for two deer to be harvested.
That allowance didn’t really matter much to him.
“After all that (dragging the buck), thank god the doe ran off,” he said.
He said the buck, whose point total was 11, was “the largest I’ve ever shot” in a Facebook post.
“Deer hunting is a special time for me,” Champagne wrote. “It brings back memories of all the people I used to hunt with. My dad, uncles, nephew … and all that have passed. … Even though I was hunting alone, I think there were others with me. Another hunting season I will never forget.”