HUNTERTOWN — Last year’s Huntertown Heritage Days Treasure Hunt proved tricky enough to warrant a fourth clue. This year, the canister was found in half the time.

This year’s winning sleuth, Adam Beauchot, recalls seeing about half a dozen people taking pictures of the second clue July 31 at Sweet Sanity Ice Cream. With plenty of treasure hunters combing the streets of Huntertown that night, he and his accompanying friend thought for sure they wouldn’t find it.

“When the clues would come out, we would make a trip to Sweet Sanity to get our clue and our ice cream,” he said. “Once we got the second clue, we came up with the three dots to draw the triangle that the canister would be hidden in. One of the clues said ‘The bark it is with is not on a tree’ and ‘not far from a bee,’ and we thought about that and ended up in four different locations Wednesday night.”

The pair figured the canister would be somewhere near a “dog-friendly” business and within view of Mr. B’s Package Store on Lima Road. They ended up looking around the dog park at Huntertown Family Park, the Huntertown Fire Department, the package store and the Lions Club baseball diamonds. Without any luck, they gave up their search around 10:30 p.m.

While he was driving home from work on Thursday, Beauchot noticed two billboards side by side on S.R. 3 — one for Von Aries dog kennels and the other for Mr. B’s — and knew he might be on to the treasure’s hiding place.

“I’m driving northbound on 3, and I immediately get over and make a U-turn in 5 O’ clock traffic,” he laughed.

Beauchot parked in the Fort Wayne Storage lot, walked through some tall grass to get to the two billboards, and sure enough he found the 35mm film canister out in front of them.

“I’m pretty stoked to be honest,” Beauchot said Friday evening. “The fact that I found that, I was giddy last night. I wish we could do that more often because I loved that treasure hunt.”

This was the first time Beauchot participated in the hunt, having only heard about the event this year. A Bishop Dwenger High School graduate and now an insurance agent at Schultheis Agency, Beauchot grew up on the north side of Fort Wayne, so “Huntertown has always been a part of my life,” he said. Last year, he built a house in Brownstone Manor in town, and he learned of the treasure hunt by following Sweet Sanity.

“I’m planning to pump it up again next year because that was pretty darn cool,” Beauchot said. “It was a lot of fun going hunting.”

Though he plans to participate again in the future, he said if he finds the treasure again, he’ll put it back in its hiding place in order to “give someone else a chance.”

“At least I’ll know I found it — that’s good enough for me,” he said. “Going out and looking for it is worth it on its own.”

He may have found the treasure while he was alone, but he said he’ll probably still end up splitting the $318.37 with his friend and their dog companion that helped him search last week.

“It was all in the small detail words,” he said.

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