Dodge County Giant

Dodge County Giant

Erick Organ shot this 13 point buck scoring 200 3/8 gross 193 2/8 net Typical

Erick Organ shot this 13 point buck scoring 200 3/8 gross 193 2/8 net Typical

Here’s the story behind this Dodge County giant, and another trophy southeast buck taken the same day, in the same neighborhood!

By Javier Serna
Assistant Editor – Minnesota Outdoor News

West Concord, Minn. — Erick Organ and other adults had been looking out for their kids hunting the opener of Minnesota’s firearms season. One of his nephews, age 10, was on his first deer hunt. Another nephew, age 11, was on his second hunt. And Organ’s son, 16, also was hunting that day.

“We put them in the three best places,” said Organ, 44. “We had them placed on some pretty good stands, thinking that would be where the deer would come.

“He came by me, instead,” said Organ, who contacted Outdoor News after seeing a buck adorning the Dec. 13, 2019, issue’s front page. That deer was a potential record-book animal that green-scored 180, gross. The story of that buck, taken by Pat Shelton, was chronicled on Page 14 of that edition.

That Dodge County buck, Organ surmised by using Google Maps, was killed only about 2.9 miles from where he killed his, and on the same day.

Earlier this week, after the required 60-day drydown period, Organ’s 13-pointer scored 1932⁄8 in accordance with Boone and Crockett Club scoring.

“It was by far the biggest one I have ever shot,” Organ said, mentioning having killed some 150-class deer in the past.

Organ said his two nephews did see bucks that morning. His son did not.

“Seeing deer is not an issue,” Organ said. “At their age, they were hoping to get a crack at any size buck. They saw them but didn’t get the opportunity to get one. I think they still had fun.”

Organ certainly did.

It was a quarter past 9 a.m. when the big buck came by.

“I was sitting in the deer stand, looking off to the south,” he said. “That was where the biggest chunk of woods was that I could see. To the east, it was a plowed field. He came over the top of the first ridge.”

Organ knew.

“I looked at him for two seconds, and I knew it was a dandy,” he said. “The first time I shot, he was 40 to 45 yards away.”

Organ spoke about a slight bit of difficulty working his barrel through one of the windows of his blind, but he hit both lungs of the animal with the shot. Still, the buck kept coming toward him.

He got another clear shot at 25 yards, which went through both of the deer’s front legs, and the buck collapsed.

“I got over to him and could just tell he was a big buck,” he said. He said he sent a photo to his son and his father in-law. One of his nephews who was hunting nearby came over to see the deer.

“We sat and talked about it for a while,” Organ said. “They wanted to see (the deer), even though it was the beginning of their hunt.”

It also turned out that his brother-in-law and another nephew had seen the buck.

“Where we hunt is kind of bluff country, with big limestone cliffs that go into the flats by the river,” he said. “There are big funnels there to get up or down to the river. That’s where my brother-in-law was sitting. He’d actually saw the deer with his son. But his son was using a .410 shotgun and the deer was probably 70 or 80 yards away. He wasn’t comfortable with taking a shot at the deer, especially with his son being 10.”

The deer was trotting.

“He was in rut,” Organ said.

And, yes, the adults pondered what might have happened had the young man, in the first two hours of his first hunt, had killed the beast of a buck.

Might it have ruined the young man on deer hunting?

“That’s what we said,” Organ said with a laugh. “The first two hours in the deer stand and he saw the biggest deer I’ve ever seen in Minnesota.”

Organ called his taxidermist, who also did some light measuring of the antlers using Scotch tape. Some neighbors also came by. They’d seen the buck on trail camera images.

Normally, Organ said he only bowhunts on other property.

“I only gun hunt at my in-laws (where this all took place) so we can all be together,” he said. “I had never seen this deer. The neighbors had him on a couple of pics. One neighbor had the sheds from the year before. It had grown since the year before. I was in a euphoric state.”

The typical antlers grossed 1991⁄8 inches and netted 1932⁄8 after deductions, with a 19-inch inside spread. It had some long points, the longest measuring 131⁄8 inches.

Organ said he was surprised the deer came so close to the deer killed by Pat Shelton, of Minneapolis, and featured in a December edition of Outdoor News. Both men killed their deer on opposite sides of Berne, a small, unincorporated township.

Taylor Bestor, of the Blufflands Whitetails Association, said it’s remarkable that two bucks of that stature would be killed such a short distance from one another, and on the same day.

“Early November – that gets bucks on their feet,” Bestor said, noting that the deer were both killed just outside of where antler point restrictions had been part of the regulations for years – until this year. They are probably practicing (APR) there anyway.”

Organ said on his father-in-law’s property, he and his brother-in-law shoot only larger bucks. Now that there are young kids hunting, though, they shoot whatever they choose to, and his father-in-law kills bucks of all sizes.

Whatever the case, the area grows some big specimens.

“A couple of dandies get shot, and now I am a local celebrity,” Organ said, chuckling. “There are only about 200 people here where I work, so it doesn’t take too much.”