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Deer tales: Trophy buck ends 20-year drought for Badger hunter

Charlie Walsh, 52, Badger, Minn., hadn't shot a buck in 20 years, but the drought finally ended during this year's firearms deer season. According to his son, Brent Walsh, Charlie was posting in the same open tree stand he's been using for years....

Charlie Walsh
Charlie Walsh, Badger, Minn., shot this 10-point buck near Badger during the first week of Minnesota's firearms deer season. The antlers scored about 140, and the buck weighed 200 pounds field-dressed. The buck was Walsh's first since 1989.

Charlie Walsh, 52, Badger, Minn., hadn't shot a buck in 20 years, but the drought finally ended during this year's firearms deer season.

According to his son, Brent Walsh, Charlie was posting in the same open tree stand he's been using for years.

"We always used to give him grief -- 'Maybe you should get a cover instead of sitting out in the open,'" Brent Walsh said. "No matter which way the wind is going to be, it's going to be in your face."

According to Brent, his dad was in the stand Nov. 12 when the buck came out about 7 a.m.

A Grand Forks Herald carrier for about 20 years, Charlie had just wrapped up his morning paper route.

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"The deer was 500-600 yards away. He watched it, and it kept walking right toward him," Brent Walsh said.

The buck had walked to within about 225 yards when a neighbor started a truck. The noise startled the buck, Brent Walsh said, and it was getting ready to bolt when his dad shot.

"It didn't move another foot," Brent said.

The 10-point buck weighed 200 pounds field-dressed, Brent said, and the antlers likely will score about 140.

Brent said the buck had gotten their attention earlier in the year.

"We'd actually had this deer on our trail camera more than once," he said. "We knew he was in the area."

As Brent recalls, his dad asked to see one of the trail camera photos when he got back to camp after shooting the buck.

Sure enough, Brent said, it was the same buck they'd seen on the trail camera.

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"To get to see it hanging on our pole was pretty special," Brent said.

Overall, he said, deer hunting in the area they hunt was down from recent years, but the crew of nine hunters had enough luck for everyone to go home with a deer.

None of them, though, could top the buck his dad shot to end a dry spell that began in 1989.

"He told our whole hunting group, 'I suppose I'll put my gun away and give the rest of you guys a chance,'" Brent said.

He said his dad is planning to have the buck's head mounted.

"It's kind of ironic," Brent Walsh said. "You don't get to see many of the big ones so it was pretty exciting to see him get that. It's the deer of a lifetime for him."

Dokken reports on outdoors. Reach him at (701) 780-1148; (800) 477-6572, ext. 148; or send e-mail to bdokken@gfherald.com .

Related Topics: HUNTING
Brad Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and has been the Grand Forks Herald's outdoors editor since 1998.

Besides his role as an outdoors writer, Dokken has an extensive background in northwest Minnesota and Canadian border issues and provides occasional coverage on those topics.

Reach him at bdokken@gfherald.com, by phone at (701) 780-1148 or on Twitter at @gfhoutdoor.
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