Shed Find Leads 12-Year-Old From New London On Pursuit Of Trophy Buck

Kaden Iverson, 12, of New London, holds the shed antlers he found on March 11. He is hoping to bag the big buck that carried them.

Come the fall hunting season, 12-year-old Kaden Iverson of New London will know what celebrities endure when paparozzi watch their every move.

Because just like paparozzi, you can bet there will be lots of hunters watching his every move in hopes of learning where he is going to be hunting. Ever since Brett Blocker told the story in the Lakes Area Review about the huge set of antlers Iverson found, the youth has become something of a paparozzi-worthy celebrity himself. “Anyone who runs into him says, ‘hey, you’re the kid who found them horns,’’ said his uncle, Keane Johnson, laughing about it all.

Johnson and his dad were along when Iverson spotted the non-typical antlers on March 11. Their unofficial measurements show his find to be worthy of all this attention.

The left antler measured 82 and three-eighths inches, and the right 92 and seven-eighths. That adds up to a score of 195 and two-eights, assuming a conservative, 20-inch spread on the buck that carried them, noted Johnson.

The official, state record for a matched set of non-typical, shed antlers is 195 and five-eighth inches, as kept by the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association.

“A once in a lifetime find,’’ said Greg Johnson, of Midstate Taxidermy of Spicer.  He sees lots of nice antlers in his business, and knows just how big a deal big antlers have become. He no longer tells visitors the stories behind the mounts and antlers on display in his shop, worried it might lead some to intrude on the hunting grounds of his patrons.

Johnson also knows that the days of harvesting bucks with antlers that qualify for the Boone and Crockett record book are long gone from this area. Yet Iverson found the evidence that one monster buck is still roaming the western Minnesota landscape.

Naturally enough, Johnson and his young nephew are staying mum about the exact location of where the shed was found.  Johnson will only allow that it was in Swift County.

He does not know if any hunter in the area had seen the big buck last fall, or if it was captured on anyone’s trail cam. The area where the shed was found is hunted, said Johnson.  There are deer stands belonging to others not too far from where the shed was located.

The three were casually looking for sheds that day, scouting the area when the 12-year-old said he spotted a shed. He was just teasing, but moments later he announced again that he had found a shed. This time, his uncle knew he had. The excitement in his voice was all too obvious.

It was a productive day for the trio, who were later joined by other family members. Along with the big buck’s set of antlers, they found seven sheds that day. They included two other, very nice sides.

But Johnson said the best part of this story is yet to come. His nephew began deer hunting at age 10, and loves both hunting and the outdoors. He likes how this discovery has only stoked his nephew’s enthusiasm for outdoor activities.

Last year, Iverson wanted to follow his uncle’s footsteps and do some bow hunting for deer. Johnson told his nephew no. He said he wanted him to continue to develop his archery skills.

On the ride home after finding his shed, Johnson said his nephew asked him to let him know when he’s shooting his bow for practice so that he could join him. Johnson turned around to his nephew and said: “Nothing to do with the deer, does it?’’  “He starts giggling,’’ said Johnson.

He said he really hopes his nephew can harvest the big buck. “It would be a blast. Hoping he’d be the one to get it over me, be a great story,’’ said Johnson.