Teenage Hunter’s First Buck Stolen, Later Returned by Thief After Viral Post

by Craig Garrett
A young pheasant hunter in an autumn landscape - stock photo

A teenage Wisconsin hunter had a weekend full of ups and downs after shooting his first buck, only to have it stolen. A young man’s trophy buck was returned to him, thanks to a viral social media post and the help of local law enforcement. 15-year-old Garrett Diehm was ecstatic to bag his first ever buck that day. “When I went down there, I was shaking,” Garrett told local news outlet WKOW. “Even more seeing how big it was.” 

But, the moment didn’t last long. After Garrett took a few pictures, he and his mom walked to the house excitedly so that they could show his grandparents the photos. Furthermore, they retrieved a wagon to transport the deer carcass and other necessities. By the time they got back to where they had left the buck, it was nowhere to be found. Garrett felt terrible. “We went up to my grandparents to show them the pictures and grab a wagon to field dress it and my ma had to go to the bathroom, and we came back, and it was gone,” Diehm recalled. 

“I was just amazed and really mad. I did not think that would happen to us back on our own property way back in the woods where there’s like nobody back there,” the teen hunter explained. However, Garrett’s mother Sarah quickly turned her anger into positive action. That afternoon, she created a Facebook post explaining the events that transpired. In only a few hours, over 4,000 people had shared it.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office responded to the call. Just a day later, there was a major development. “The cape and antlers were on the hood of her [Garrett’s grandmothers’] car,” Sarah Diehm explained. “And that was just really, really creepy.”

The teenage hunter is grateful for community support

Sarah said that the meat was brought to a processor, and once the suspect returned the deer, it would be returned as well. The sheriff’s office has announced that they have apprehended and charged the individuals responsible for theft and trespassing.

Garret and Sarah couldn’t believe what happened next. “Even after the sheriff and warden came out, I was like ‘no, people don’t really do this,'” Sarah explained. “But apparently they do, or some people.” The teenaged hunter summed it up more bluntly. “People suck sometimes,” Garrett quipped. 

On social media, the sheriff’s praised locals for sharing the story. “A big thank you to the Facebook sleuths and for everyone who shared the story,” they wrote on Sunday. “Without that, this quick outcome would not have been possible.”

Community support was pivotal in getting Garrett’s deer back, and the mother and son are eternally grateful. Garrett is new to hunting, and he would like to give a shout-out to his uncle for letting him use his tree stand.