The buck weighed 260 pounds on a scale at Birnbaum's home, he said. That's a huge whitetail buck by any standard, bigger than most of the bucks that win big-buck contests each fall across much of Northeastern Minnesota.
"That's a big one," said Phillip Lockett, president of the Arrowhead Bowhunters Alliance, which administers Duluth's city hunt. "There have been some big ones (in the city hunt), but anything over 230 is pretty rare."
This is the 13th year of the Duluth city hunt.
After shooting the buck, Birnbaum called his friend Mitch Smerz for help getting it out of the woods. They tracked the buck 70 or 80 yards, Birnbaum said, before finding it.
"I was expecting something nice," Smerz said. "(Birnbaum) had told me it was nice. But it was kind of a jaw-dropper for a second. The body mass was unreal."
"I couldn't believe how big it was," Birnbaum said. "I'd never seen a deer on the ground that big. It was the biggest body I'd ever seen. We just stood there thinking, 'How are we going to get it out of here?' "
The answer -- about 10 feet at a time. They dragged it to the nearest street, and Birnbaum drove his truck around to pick it up.
Birnbaum had shot an antlerless deer earlier in this fall's city bowhunt, as is required before a hunter takes a buck. Last year, Birnbaum, a web developer at Giant Voices in Duluth, shot a buck in the city hunt that weighed 230 pounds.
The antlers on this deer were nice, but not particularly heavy, he said. He doesn't plan to mount the deer but likely will have a European mount -- using just the skull and antlers -- created from it.
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