This giant buck is turning heads in Minnesota, thanks to the significantly young age of the hunter who tagged it.
How many hunters can say they've harvested a deer with more antler points than they've had birthdays?
11-year-old Lilly Mickelson accomplished that feat during the 2019 season on her first hunt when she tagged a beauty of a Minnesota buck. The whitetail had a 12-point rack, something even seasoned Midwest hunters can only dream about.
She hunted the deer 10 minutes from her Chisago County home, with the help of her dad, Luke Mickelson.
KMSP FOX 9 News caught up with the young hunter who killed a deer most would be proud of on her first time actively hunting.
Not too bad for her first deer, huh? The monster buck seems to have made a real impression on the young Minnesota girl, as well as others who've been deer hunting all their lives.
"I was pretty jealous," said Benji Kohn, a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources spokesman. "A bigger buck than I've ever shot."
The hunt for that big buck is the exact sort of thing the Minnesota DNR hopes to see, especially with the advent of an expanded their youth hunt license program statewide so more families could take part in deer hunting season.
As hunting participation slips in Minnesota and elsewhere, the future of the activity depends on younger folks picking it up and carrying on the traditions. If they continue buying hunting gear, purchasing licenses, and maintaining wildlife population numbers, the practice will be in better shape.
And if 11-year-old girls keep hunting deer like this, we'll all need to continue just to keep up!
"I encourage other dads - especially with daughters - to take them out hunting. It's a great thing to share with them," said Luke Mickelson. We couldn't agree more.
Here's to the next generation of deer hunters, no matter how old they may be right now!