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Berglin's first buck is a big one

Alexandria 15-year-old Nevan Berglin shot this buck on opening day that rough scored 158 3/8 inches with 13 scoreable points while hunting near the Holmes City area. (Submitted photo)

Alexandria's Nevan Berglin shot a doe during his first season hunting at the age of 10. From there, he wanted to wait for a big buck before he pulled the trigger again.

It took a few years. Berglin is 15 now, but those years in between punching tags proved to be worth the wait for him after shooting a great buck on opening day of the Minnesota firearms season on Saturday.

The Berglin family hunts west of Alexandria and had a good weekend by filling six of their eight tags on three bucks and three does. Cory, Nevan's dad, was helping his father with a deer he had shot at about 2:30 Saturday afternoon. A little after 4, Cory texted Nevan that they were heading back to the hunting shack, but that he should stay in his stand.

"He said, I'll be the only one in the woods, what if I shoot a big one?' " Cory said. 'I said, 'I'm not that far away. Just text me and I'll come get you.' "

Nevan's dad and grandpa didn't have to wait long. They walked about half a mile up a trail and could see Nevan in his stand. They walked past another 50 yards or so when a shot rang out. They knew right away it was Nevan.

Cory tried calling him but there was no answer. It wasn't long before Nevan called back.

"He said, 'Dad, I just shot the biggest buck I've ever seen in my life.' "

The two were only about 100 yards from his stand, so it didn't take long to reach Nevan and hear the story. The buck was after a doe that came by first. Nevan saw another pair of legs through some thick brush and figured that had to be the buck, so he waited.

"It stopped right in the puckerbrush," Cory said. "All he could see was the antlers, so he kind of hunkered down in the box stand. He sat up and went in between two trees and said once the scope fills with brown fur, I'm pulling the trigger."

He needed just one pull of the trigger as his shot hit its mark at 20 yards. The deer ran about 20 yards from there and folded over.

"When he called me, he was in tears because he didn't know what to do," Cory said. "When he got up to him, he was like, 'I never dreamt he was that big.' He's not that wide. He's only 15 3/8 inches wide, but his mass. We've shot nice deer, but nothing this thick. It was a nice surprise."

The Berglins rough scored the 13-point buck at 158 3/8 inches, with a main beam that is 5 3/8 inches around, Cory said.

The family had never seen this deer before. They have six cameras out on the land and went back years into their photos to see if there was a match. Nothing came close.

"The neighboring property to the west of us, nobody in the last two years has seen him," Cory said. "We don't know where he came from. We have a lot of nice deer on camera, but not him."

Nevan was in the right place at the right time when the buck made his first appearance.

Send us your hunting photos

The firearms deer season opened this past weekend, and we would love to run your photos from the hunt.

Send photos to Please send them in their original size and include the name of those in the photo, along with details of the hunt.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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