Minnesota Man Shoots 14-Pound Jumbo Opossum

Odds are you’ve by no means seen a possum of those proportions. The enormous critter that Dan Antilla shot on November 10 simply outdoors of his house in Linwood, Minnesota appears to be like like a real-life R.O.U.S, or Rodent of Unusual Size, from The Princess Bride—although opossums should not truly rodents however marsupials. Technicalities apart, the nocturnal creature had been breaking into and stealing eggs from Antilla’s hen coop for a number of weeks earlier than he laid eyes on it.

“I assumed it was a fox, nevertheless it was bizarre that the chickens weren’t disappearing,” Antilla tells F&S, noting that he was discovering massive holes within the fencing. “I used to be getting so mad that the chickens saved getting out and up onto my patio and pooping on it. I lastly went and wrapped a brand new set of hen wire across the backside of the coop.”

Because the solar was about to set later that day, the egg thief returned and tried to discover a new approach into the coop. The possum had usually raided the coop through the night time when it was too darkish to see, however this time, there was nonetheless loads of daylight for Antilla’s spouse to identify it. “She was yelling to me ‘there’s an enormous possum out right here! Do away with it,’” he says. “I ran and grabbed my .22. I ain’t gonna lie, after I opened up the door and regarded over on the hen coop, I used to be like ‘holy cow, it appears to be like like a bit bear!’

For anyone questioning, opossums are thought-about a authorized small sport species to hunt in Minnesota, and in Antilla’s township, landowners could discharge firearms close to buildings they personal so long as they observe state and native rules. “By then, [the possum] was on the bottom of the coop, about 65 yards away. I steadied up on the patio and hit it proper behind the shoulder two occasions, and it took off working. It made it about 50 yards earlier than it died.”

Antilla and his 5 daughters—Summer season, Brooklyn, Avery, Esmae, and Jaida—adopted the blood path to the lifeless marsupial. It had crawled deep beneath a shed, which is owned by Atilla’s inlaws. Antilla obtained artistic and used a fishing rod with an outdated Rapala lure to hook and drag the lifeless possum from beneath the crawl area, however the possum obtained caught. So Antilla despatched his 15-year-old daughter Summer season in after it. She shortly completed retrieving the possum, after which she and her sisters ran house with it. “Let’s simply say the entire household was pleased…apart from my spouse, who didn’t need it inside the home,” says Antilla.

Antilla Plans to Get the Large Possum Mounted

home holds huge dead oppossum
Opossums are the one marsupials discovered north of Mexico.

Antilla’s possum weighed a whopping 14-pounds, 2-ounces, which places it properly on the heavier aspect of the standard possum. Minnesota doesn’t have a document database for possums, however Missouri does and lists their largest possum as a 16-pound, 2-ouncer taken in 2016. Nonetheless, it’s uncommon to see a possum as massive because the 14-pounder Antilla shot. He plans to get it mounted at Wings & Things Taxidermy and put it up in his man cave alongside his different trophies.

Learn Subsequent: Video: Lap Dog Stares Down Mountain Lion in Colorado Backyard

Antilla is a licensed hunter and a self-described “freak relating to searching.” He lately killed a pleasant 8-point buck, a giant 7-foot-long Texas hog, and caught a world-record northern hog sucker. However he’s by no means mounted a possum earlier than, although he says the chickens usually attract a number of them, particularly through the winter when the marsupials want to cop a fast meal.

“I’ve caught seven opossums this 12 months. I picked them up reside and introduced them again away from the coop to the again and allow them to go. They play lifeless, and I’ll let the children pet them earlier than eliminating them. However this one was totally different,” says Antilla. “I’m going to get it mounted on a log that I’ll put up excessive, so it’s just like the possum is coming down and attempting to eat you.”

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