There truly is no better rush than bagging your first buck, and getting it mounted on your wall as a lifelong trophy, and I can’t imagine having that taken away from somebody.
But speaking of bucks getting stolen, that’s exactly what happened to this 15-year-old hunter from Wisconsin.
According to outdoor Life, Garrett Diehm got his first ever trophy buck stolen from him, and his mother Sarah made a Facebook post and a YouTube video following the incident.
Garrett was hunting on his grandparents’ property in Columbia County on Saturday, opening day of Wisconsin’s nine-day gun season.
He shot the buck that morning, and it went down 100 yards from his stand. As you can imagine he was filled with excitement. But his first buck was a stud with many heavy main beams, kickers, and 12 scoreable points.
After the shot, Garrett and his mom went up to the house to show the pictures to his grandparents, but by the time they grabbed a wagon to haul out the deer and got back to the buck’s location, it was gone.
Garrett described that feeling to a local news outlet:
“I was just amazing and really mad. I did not think that would happen to us back on our own property way back in the woods where there’s like nobody back there.”
That’s when the two decided to make an effort to find the stolen buck, and the Facebook post was created.
The post went viral quickly with more than 4,000 shares before the day was over. Sarah filed a police report as well with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the local sheriff’s office, and the investigation began.
The next morning, they discovered the buck’s head and cape wrapped in a trash bag, sitting on the hood of the grandmother’s car.
The hunter who took the buck surprisingly returned it to the property, and admitted that he’d already brought it in to get processed.
Sarah explained in the video:
The guy came back and confessed. He thought someone lost the deer while tracking it. The deer was about 80 feet from the stand it was shot from. He did not try to find the owner of the deer.
Instead, he tagged the deer with his name and took it to a butcher to be processed. He did apologize to my son and myself. He also said he will pay the butcher’s processing fee.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office shared that the man confessed to stealing the buck, and was charged with theft and trespassing.
They also gave credit to Sarah for the original Facebook post that helped lead to the buck’s return to its rightful owner.
The sheriff’s office shared in a Facebook post:
A big thank you to the Facebook sleuths and for everyone who shared the story. The original post from this hunting family has gotten over 4,500 shares in less than a day.
Without that, this quick outcome would not have been possible.