On November 3, Dylan Beach killed a monster 27-point buck while hunting with his stepdad in east Otter Tail County, Minn. The buck shattered the existing county record and will rank as one of the top 10 non-typical whitetails ever harvested in Minnesota. Here's how the 12-year-old took his first trophy buck during the incredible opening day hunt.
Dylan and his stepdad, Wilbur Verbeck, decided to hunt the first day of gun season on Dylan's aunt's property, just west of Sebeka, Minn. The two picked a stand on the edge of a grassy field, with a willow swamp just behind it. Dylan and Verbeck climbed the tree at 7:14 a.m. and settled in.
They didn't have to wait long. Just 20 minutes later, Dylan spotted a buck emerging from the neighbor's woods. The buck stepped into the field about 100 yards away and began to browse along the tree line toward their stand.
"I pulled my gun up on it to see if it had horns," Verbeck said. "It looked decent, but I didn't realize it was that big."
Verbeck told Dylan to wait until the buck moved closer, then shoot when he had a clear shot at the vitals. The deer halved the distance, and turned broadside at about 50 yards.
Dylan squeezed the trigger of his Remington .270 and shot the buck through the right shoulder. He said he was concentrating too hard on making a good shot to really notice the rack.
"When Dylan shot, the deer folded up and tipped over," Verbeck said.
The stunned buck lay on the ground for nearly three minutes, then got up and stumbled another 20 yards. It fell over again, and this time stayed down.
Dylan cheered and exchanged high-fives with Verbeck. They only spent a few minutes in the stand before climbing down to recover the buck.
"I was shocked by how big he was," Dylan said.
Verbeck said it wasn't a hard call to let Dylan take the shot.
"I was just happy to let him do it," Verbeck said. "I'm not real big into deer hunting, but I do it mainly now because of the two boys, Dylan and his brother."
Dylan's older brother, Dalton, was hunting a different stand on the property. When Dylan called to tell him the news, Dalton didn't believe it until he saw the bruiser for himself. His mom couldn't believe it either.
But his aunt knew exactly which deer Dylan had killed. She'd driven by the big buck on the side of the road earlier in the season, and when her neighbor's heard the news, they sent over a trail cam photo. The buck stares right into the camera for the pic, showing off his unmistakable rack.
The buck weighed 229 pounds and DNR officials aged him at 5.5 years old. Boone & Crockett scorer Michael Harrison estimated a green score of more than 241 inches. According to Verbeck, Harrison said 241 is a conservative measurement and the actual score is likely a couple inches higher. The buck will almost certainly break the record for the 10th largest non-typical whitetail in Minnesota, and will probably rank eighth in the state after the 60-day drying period. The biggest nontypical ever harvested in Minnesota measured 268 5/8 inches and was taken in 1974.
There were varying opinions about how many points the rack actually had, with some saying 27 and others 28. The buck also sported a broken brow tine, which is still intact in the game camera photo. Dylan said the buck would have become the state's third biggest non-typical if the tine was intact.
This was Dylan's fourth season hunting. He's harvested a deer each season, with a doe and two spiked bucks in past years. And even though Dylan shot what might become the biggest buck of his hunting career, he was still a little disappointed that his hunting season ended so quickly.
Twelve-year-old Dylan Beach took this incredible 27-point buck during the Minnesota gun season. It's a county record and will go down as one of the biggest nontypical bucks ever killed in the state.