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Potvin wins Big Buck Contest

By Staff | Dec 6, 2013

Submitted Photo Jim Potvin poses with the 200.2-pound buck that earned him the title at this year’s Big Buck Contest sponsored by the Rugby Eagles Club.

Jim Potvin is no stranger to hunting, but the Brainerd, Minn., native honed his skills in heavily wooded areas of his home state.

Potvin, the administrator at the Heart of American Johnson Clinic, started hunting at the age of 18. The 53-year-old is just three years into hunting on the prairie and he’s already had much success out in the open.

Potvin won the Rugby Eagles Club’s Big Buck Contest this year with a 200.2 pound buck shot about six miles east of the city on Nov. 16. He was recognized on Nov. 30 at the Big Buck Contest Dinner and awarded a Savage Bolt Action, seven millimeter magnum with a Nikon scope.

“I’ve actually been very lucky since I’ve been here,” Potvin said. “I’ve won guns at various events, so they give me a bit of rousing because I’ve been very lucky since I’ve been out here. It’s a lot of good fun when they give me a hard time.”

Potvin shot the hefty buck at about 1 p.m. with a Remington 30-06 Bolt Action Rifle.

“I was just walking along the edge of a cornfield and he was standing there walking straight away from me,” he said. “I grabbed my scope and decided he was a mature buck and put a round through his neck. This one didn’t have much for antlers, but the body was pretty big.”

Potvin said his personal record is a 236-pounder. He had only hunted one day before Nov. 16 during the season and was surprised to get the buck so quickly because deer numbers are down this year.

“This is my third deer season in Rugby,” Potvin said, “but there’s always been five, six, seven deer over 200 pounds. I was really surprised that it held up to be honest with you.”

Distance proved to be one of the biggest difference between hunting in North Dakota and Minnesota. On the prairie, a shot can be lined up about 200 yards away or more. In the wooded areas he hunted for more than 30 years, shots are often much shorter.

“I’ve had to kind of really learn to hunt, but have connected with a lot of good friends who gave me ideas on the different hunting,” he said.

Potvin laughed when asked if he’s got the North Dakota hunting scene figured out.

“No, I’m still learning,” he said.

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