February 2, 2023

Minnesota Hunter's Triple Play

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Someday perhaps on the television game show Jeopardy, Alec Trebec will recite this answer: “He was the Minnesota deer hunter, who in 2006, shot and killed three deer with one shot.” The question would be, “Who is Chris Olsen?”

Chris Olsen of Two Harbors, Minnesota was hunting on his own land just north of town with an 8mm Mauser rifle he had just bought the year before. The deer hunting season was rapidly coming to an end and Olsen was interested in some venison.

He had put out a scent cloth near his stand, when two deer, yearling deer was how he described them, came into his area to check out the scent. He decided he would take one of them when a doe appeared as well. Deciding the doe is the one he would take, he took aim and fired one shot. All three deer ran off.

His brother Lee joined him a short while later and the two of them found the doe and dressed it out. They looked around and much to their surprise, they found a second deer. They were some excited to think Chris was able to bag two deer with one shot.

They finished dressing the two deer and headed back to their deer camp. Chris thought about the event overnight and in the morning he decided to return to the scene to make sure the third deer hadn’t been wounded as well. After scouting around a bit, he actually found the third deer laying dead. All three deer had been wounded by one shot and all three had dropped within about 50 yards of each other.

I have heard several stories about hunters taking two deer with one shot but I guess this is the first I have heard of taking three. By the way, Olsen was properly licensed to take all three deer, which brings me to a couple of points I would like to make.

I don’t want to ruin a good story so I’ll keep my comments brief. A lesson for all of us in this is to realize that as part of the responsibility of the hunter to recognize their target, they must also realize that one shot can do a lot of damage. Had Olsen been licensed for only one or two deer, he would have had to face possible charges. From this I hope we can all be reminded that shooting at one deer that is standing in front of others could lead to complicated results.

The second thing I would like to mention is that it was Olsen’s responsibility to assure after making his shot that not more than one deer was wounded. Although it is difficult to know for sure from the story in the Lawrence Journal-World what exactly happened but it appeared that Olsen and his brother never considered the possibilities. It seemed an “accident” that they discovered the second deer dead and not until returning to camp and thinking about it, did he realize that maybe the third deer had been hit too.

The lessons are to recognize your target and all subsequent targets and after the shot, thoroughly investigate the scene for collateral damage, if that be the right terminology to use here.

Congratulations to Mr. Olsen on his hunting success.

Tom Remington