That this year’s deer hunt might be the hunt of a lifetime for 12-year-old Dylan Beach-Bittner of Motley might be an understatement.
About a half hour after Dylan and his stepdad, Wilbur Verbeck, got into their tree stand Saturday morning, Dylan noticed a deer walk out of the woods about 100 yards away.
Dylan said he knew it was a big deer while it slowly made its way toward the deer stand, he just didn’t know how big.
“I was shaking a little,” he said of the moments before he fired his .270-caliber.
At about 50 yards, the deer turned broadside and Dylan fired a round into its front shoulder. The deer dropped immediately, got up a few seconds later and walked a few feet before finally falling for the last time.
When Dylan and Verbeck got off their stand and down to the deer, they found an enormous animal with a 27-point atypical rack.
“I was surprised at how big he was,” said Dylan, who immediately cheered and high-fived Verbeck after they got to the buck.
Dylan was hunting on his aunt’s farm about eight miles west of Sebeka, and the buck was known to many people in the area, said Dylan’s mom, Jeannie Beach.
“He called me and I thought, ‘He better not be joking with me this early in the morning,’” Beach said. “I was half asleep when I called my sister and when I told her it was a 27-point buck she knew which deer it was. ‘He got the monster, he got the monster,’ she said.”
Even with just a dozen years under his belt, Dylan is not a deer hunting rookie. This was his third time out for the rifle deer opener, but before this year the best he had bagged was a couple of spike bucks.
At 229 pounds, Dylan said it took four people to lift the deer into a truck to haul out of the field. The family has lined up someone to green score the rack, which mom figured could take a couple of times because there are so many tines. The deer will be taken to a taxidermist for a full shoulder mount. She also said the American Whitetail Association has contacted the family about showing the mount.
Dylan is still in disbelief, even while looking at a handful of the pictures that were taken of him posing with his trophy.
“It seems like it gets bigger every time I see it,” he.
While Dylan said he doubts he would ever be able to top his 2012 27-point buck, he is quick to agree that one can always hold out hope. And he’s not done yet this year, he said, as he plans on sitting in the stand again with Verbeck for the final weekend of the season.
MATT ERICKSON, Night Editor, may be reached at 855-5857 or firstname.lastname@example.org.