BY BRET “T-BONE” AMUNDSON
Watch out 56” muskies, 34” walleyes and other awe-inspiring trophies, in case twelve-year-old Dylan Beach of Motley, Minnesota decides to expand into other areas of hunting and fishing. Dylan might just decide to venture into other realms of the outdoors after mastering the art of whitetail hunting. You may have seen the gnarled 28 point rack that has been making the rounds on the interwebs. That’s Dylan smiling while struggling to get his fingers all the way around the baseball bat sized beams.
At age 12, you might guess that this was his first time deer hunting. Nope.
“I’ve gone deer hunting for three years,” Dylan informed me. But this is your first deer though, right?
“No, I’ve shot three other deer.” This kid is someone to be reckoned with!
The Minnesota Monster came out of the Sebeka area and showed up fairly early on opening morning. As Dylan tells it:
“I got in my stand at 7:14 and he came out at 7:41. He was about 100 yards out there…he walked about 50 yards towards me, then he turned broadside and I shot him. He fell over and got up, then he ran a little bit and fell over again.”
And just like that his hunting prowess would be forever changed. Men will bow in his presence out of respect. Animals would cower , then run in fear when he loads up his armament of choice. Women will…well we don’t need to get into that until he’s a bit older.
As remarkable as this story is, an even more respectable aspect is that of his stepdad, Wilbur Verbeck. Verbeck introduced Dylan to the outdoors, taking him deer hunting. Each year Dylan has had success with smaller deer, and this season the two were together when the 28 pointer came into view. Verbeck let the 12-year-old pull the trigger on the once in a lifetime buck. You’d have to think there’d be some temptation in letting him shoot the next deer while you harvest this one yourself. “Just to make sure we get him”, but that’s not what happened here.
What happened here is not only the bagging of a legendary whitetail, but a great example of passing on the tradition to our youth. Offering an example of unselfishness, leadership and sportsmanship that we all could learn from. Both Dylan and Verbeck should be commended in this situation.
When asked about whether or not he’d been offered money already for the deer, Dylan responded with “there are a lot of rumors out there”. I told him I also heard that he turned it down. I told you, this kid is going to be someone to be reckoned with!
The unnamed deer will be a permanent fixture in Dylan’s house, “right above our fireplace”. I told him he should name it Cactus, because of all the points on his head.
While his classmates haven’t picked him up and carried him on their shoulders like he scored the winning touchdown like I think they should have, he is getting his share of attention. He’s being contacted from people all over, wanting to hear his story. Shooting a deer that has a green score of 241+ that could rank high, not just in Minnesota, but maybe in the world, can have that effect.
Before I let this 12 year old veteran of the hardwoods get back to dinner, I asked for some advice for other hunters looking to bag the buck of a lifetime.
“Stay out there all day”, Dylan offered.
Probably the best advice you could give. Since I missed out on “Brutus” last Saturday when I climbed down from my stand for lunch, his words struck a familiar chord with me. I wish I would have talked to him sooner.
Congrats on a great hunt!
By Bret “T-Bone” Amundson