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'King Buck' has taken all his luck

Brad Karl of Hutchinson shot his 24-point buck on public lands on the south end of Big Kandiyohi Lake on the last day of the 2004 firearm season. It put him in the record books with a Boone and Crockett score of 225, but he hasn't shot a deer since moving to a new hunting locale north of Bemidji. He's planning to return to the spot that produced this trophy for the start of the 2010 season, hoping to end his dry spell. Tribune file photo

LAKE LILLIAN -- Brad Karl is returning to the hunting spot that put him in the record books.

Karl, of Hutchinson, said earlier this week that he planned to open the 2010 firearm season on the public wildlife management area located on the south end of Big Kandiyohi Lake where he harvested one of the largest bucks in the recent history of Kandiyohi County.

On the last day of the 2004 firearm season, Karl downed what everyone called "King Buck." After the required drying period, the 24-point, non-typical whitetail was measured for a 225 Boone and Crockett score, the best-ever entry from Kandiyohi County for a non-typical to that point.

What happens after you put a once-in-a-lifetime trophy on your wall?

"I've been skunked every year since," said Karl, lamenting the bad luck.

After 2004, he began deer hunting on land north of Bemidji, where a family member has a cabin. Last year, his work in agriculture prevented him from chasing whitetails.

Reached by phone in a tractor cab earlier this week, Karl said he was hoping to end his dry spell by returning to the land near Big Kandiyohi to start his 2010 hunt.

Karl had the big buck mounted by Dale Selby Taxidermy and it is on display in his home in Hutchinson. He still gets comments from visitors about the big buck, he said.

He's happy to have the trophy and appreciates the comments, but Karl said he'd be very pleased to have a smaller set of antlers prance in front of his shotgun this season.

"I need some luck," he said.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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