Nov. 11: Pawlenty wounds buck, but hunting party fails to find it

  • Article by: BOB VON STERNBERG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 14, 2009 - 3:31 PM

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty after speaking to Iowa Republicans at the Leadership for Iowa event, Saturday, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Photo: (AP Photo/Doug Wells),

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Gov. Tim Pawlenty got a buck Saturday at the Minnesota Governor's Deer Opener, but still came up empty-handed.

Pawlenty, who tends to come up empty-handed during the opener, shot a small buck while hunting north of Thief River Falls on Saturday morning.

But it ran off into the brush, apparently badly wounded.

Hunters who were with Pawlenty started following the blood trail, but Pawlenty had to leave for Iowa, where he was headlining a Republican Party fundraiser.

Before leaving, he told reporters, "They're looking for it and they're hopeful they can find it," according to news reports.

Wally Sparby, who owns the land where Pawlenty's party was hunting, searched Saturday and Sunday for the buck, but turned up nothing.

"It was extremely frustrating," Sparby said. "We do know he shot it, because it was bleeding profusely. We combed and combed and combed, but still couldn't find it. ... We gave it the best shot we could."

In a case of strange political bedfellows, the Republican governor was hosted by a prominent DFLer. Sparby served six terms in the Minnesota House and works in the district office of U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn.

According to the Grand Forks Herald, Pawlenty said of the bipartisan hunt, "Even though we come from different political parties, we realize deer hunting is for everybody."

BOB VON STERNBERG

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