Big-racked bugs turn me on like, well, let’s not go there, but they do spike my adrenaline. Big-bodied whitetails also grab my attention and while working the 2008 Minnesota Deer and Turkey Expo last weekend in Owatonna Steve Warren from Duluth stopped by my booth and showed me a photo of an eye-popping body on a North Woods buck. The rack wasn’t too shabby either. Take a look at this buck. The shoulders say it all, not to mention the beer gut on this boy. This brute is all brawn and came from typical northeast Minnesota deep woods in November 2006. Warren was able to capture the big buck with the help of trail cameras on three different occasions and it was the trail camera images that helped him pattern the Nutri-system candidate. The buck field-dressed 208 pounds giving it an estimated live weight of approximately 270 pounds. Just looking at the photos I would have bet the buck was within 10 pounds of 300. Average point length, decent mass and a million-dollar drop tine makes this a buck worthy of anyone’s trophy room with a gross score of nearly 150 inches. Steve relates that the buck “did a magnificent job of surviving as long as he did, since the winters are harsh. Also there is a high wolf population in our state and especially in the area.” North woods bucks are without question the toughest critters to hunt and Warren knows it. He shared with me that at one point he had gone 24 years without harvesting a buck, but he’s consistently successful in recent years ending with this trophy. This is his best buck in 40 years of hunting. Congratulations Steve!
– Mark Kayser