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Young hunter's first buck stolen; thief returns the deer

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Teen's first buck stolen

(Courtesy: Sarah Diehm) Garrett Diehm said he went to get a wagon to move the buck and when he returned it was gone.

COLUMBIA COUNTY (WKOW) — A young hunter's dream was quickly shattered when someone stole his deer. 

Investigators with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office said it happened over the weekend on the family's property near Portage.

The deer wasn't just any deer though, it belonged to 15-year-old Garrett Diehm and was his very first buck. 

"When I went down there, I was shaking," Garrett remembered. "Even more seeing how big it was." 

However, the moment was short lived. 

"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," he explained. 

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office was called to investigate.

Less than 24 hours later, Garrett and his mom Sarah Diehm couldn't believe what happened next.

Suspect returns stolen buck

Garretts mom Sarah said the bucks' antlers and head were dropped off the next day. 

"The cape and antlers were on the hood of her [Garrett's grandmothers'] car," Sarah Diehm said. "And that was just really really creepy."

Sarah said the person who investigators say stole the deer came back and returned it. According to the Columbia County Sheriff, they have been identified and charged with theft and trespassing.

Investigators identify deer theft suspect

Columbia County Investigators pose with Garrett after the deer is returned. Suspect charged the suspect with trespassing and theft. 

Garrett and Sarah said they never expected to have this happen. 

"Even after the sheriff and warden came out, I was like 'no, people don't really do this,'" Sarah said. "But apparently they do, or some people."

"People suck sometimes," Garrett added. 

The mother and son said without the community's help, Garrett may never have gotten his deer back and they are forever grateful for the support. 

Now Garrett said he's just getting started hunting and wants to shout out his uncle for letting him use his tree stand.

Sarah Diehm made a video documenting the events which can be found on YouTube. 

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