Actually, the 23-year-old Welch, Minn., woman never has met the former University
of Minnesota wrestling champion who is one of the biggest names in the sport of ultimate
But Gustafson shot a buck so big Saturday that her family named it after the thick-shouldered
The “Lesnar Buck” has 27 points, three of which were broken off in a recent fight,
Gustafson said. The real Lesnar takes on Randy Couture for the heavyweight title Saturday
in the Ultimate Fighting Championship in Las Vegas.
“I’m a huge (UFC) fan, and we went to (Lesnar’s) last fight,” said Gustafson, mother
of a 7-month-old girl. “This buck has a lot of character, and three of his tines were
broken off, so that’s why we call him the Lesnar Buck.”
Gustafson said she was hunting alone on her family’s property along the Cannon River
near Welch on Saturday morning, the opening of Minnesota’s firearms deer season, when
she spotted a doe running past her.
An experienced deer hunter, Gustafson said the doe was acting like a buck was pursuing
it. Because it is the peak of the deer-breeding season, Gustafson knew she should
look for a deer with antlers to appear near the doe.
“That’s when I heard this low grunting,” Gustafson said in a telephone interview,
then doing her best buck-grunt impersonation.
She soon saw the buck in pursuit, and, after seeing its huge antlers through her binoculars,
Gustafson decided to shoot it with her single-shot muzzleloader rifle. She brought
it down with a single slug from 40 yards away.
The buck’s many tines look like a small oak tree on its head. The base of the rack
is so thick Gustafson can’t reach her hand around it.
Editor’s Note: According to the article, Gustafson was wearing blaze orange when the
deer was shot but removed the vest for the photo since it had excessive blood.