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Duluth bowhunter takes 260-pound buck in city hunt

Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune on

Published in Outdoors

DULUTH, Minn. -- When a nine-point buck came walking toward Leif Birnbaum's deer stand last Sunday, the Duluth bowhunter took a good look at him.

"He was a nice deer," Birnbaum said, "but I was waiting for something a little bigger."

Something bigger -- way bigger -- showed up about an hour later. Birnbaum shot a 10-point buck that field-dressed at 260 pounds.

Birnbaum, 33, was hunting in the city of Duluth's bowhunt for deer, as he has since 2007. He had been on his stand, in an undisclosed Duluth neighborhood, for about three hours last Sunday evening when the larger buck came in.

About 20 minutes earlier, he had pulled out his "rattle bag" -- a small bag with a few oak dowels in it -- that he had rattled to imitate the sounds of two bucks sparring.

"I'm sitting 25 feet up in a spruce tree looking straight down. You don't realize how big he is," Birnbaum said.

Now, at about 6:30 p.m., the buck kept walking toward Birnbaum's stand, allowing him a better look.

"His neck was gone," Birnbaum said. "It was all body."

That was all he needed to see.

"He looked like a pretty mature buck," he said. "I had a nice shot, so I took it."

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