Oh deer: 2-year-old spots buck statue missing for months, gets reward

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Busby Big Buck hadn't been seen in months.

The well-known life-size deer sculpture that stands proudly bolted outside Bemidji Woolen Mills was stolen in March, MPR reported – there one evening, gone the next morning.

Apparently, not enough 2-year-olds were asked to look for it.

Tanner Zothman – who has almost reached the observant age of 3 – noticed Busby laying in a ditch near Bungashing Creek off 47th Street, the Bemidji Pioneer reports. Tanner was with his father, Mike Zothman, who was out on an ATV laying bales, the Pioneer says.

The elder Zothman then called authorities, and the big buck was lifted into a pickup truck and driven back home, according to the Pioneer.

Then there's the reward money.

Bill Batchelder, the owner of Bemidji Woolen Mills, offered $500 for the sculpture's return when Busby went missing, plus a prosecution of the thief, Lakeland Public Televsion reports. But even though Tanner didn't nab any suspects, Batchelder will give the eagle-eyed toddler the $500 to start a college fund.

Busby is already back in his downtown Bemidji spot – and hopefully, he'll stay there.

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