Cool temps chill initial deer harvest numbers
Cold, windy weather may account for low deer numbers during the first weekend of the firearm opener. DNR wildlife technician Tom Stursa, conducting car counts in wildlife management areas on public land, said hunter numbers appeared to be down sl...
Cold, windy weather may account for low deer numbers during the first weekend of the firearm opener.
DNR wildlife technician Tom Stursa, conducting car counts in wildlife management areas on public land, said hunter numbers appeared to be down slightly.
And they were spending less time on the deer stand. Stursa said the cold sent them into the car or hunting shack by 8 or 9 a.m. to warm up.
If the kill is down, it's likely weather related, he predicts. Hunters with enclosed stands - or braving Mother Nature's chill - were seeing deer.
He noticed hunters were breaking camp earlier than normal, heading out by mid-morning Sunday, as opposed to afternoon.
Those who were toughing it out were seeing deer, he said.
Danny Pike, 15, reported he'd not spotted a four-legged creature until right before dark Saturday He hunts in the southern tier of the county where his family owns land.
"Two ran out of the woods and stood at the edge of the cornfield about 150 yards in front of me. I had not even noticed the buck until I picked up my gun to look at the doe," Pike said.
"I instantly knew the buck was a shooter. I shot at it three times before it finally went down," he recalled. He anticipated it was an 8- to 10-pointer "until I came upon the animal.
"This was no average buck; this was the biggest buck anyone had ever taken in our woods," he said.
He was so enthralled by the size of his trophy, he forgot to count points, the first question asked by brother Nate.
"Danny, you shot a monster," Nate told him, upon introduction.
The 10-point buck weighed about 200 pounds, scoring approximately 150 Boone and Crockett points.
T&M Express in Nevis registered 273 deer over the weekend, down from last year's 332 for the same period. Bucks numbered 117, with 101 does and 55 fawns registered.
"No albinos this year," Denise Crandall of Akeley's T&M reported, the rare find registered by an Akeley hunter two years ago at the site.
The convenience store reported 170 deer registered over the weekend, 70 bucks, 53 does and 47 fawns.
The Huntersville Outpost numbers were down appreciably from last year's; 78 were registered over the weekend compared with 143 in 2007.
"And they weren't big ones," the Outpost reported.
Itasca Junction registered 225 white-tailed critters, about on par with last year's harvest in the first weekend of the season.
The cold weather was a frequent topic of conversation, the hunters "commenting, not complaining," Margaret Abraham said.
At Two Inlets Country Store, owner Tim Eischens said 124 deer were registered Saturday and 183 deer registered Sunday.
"It was up a little bit, the deer are bigger," he said.
As of Monday morning, the three biggest deer registered at Two Inlets were 233 pounds, 232 pounds and 227 pounds, Eischens said.
Over the weekend, hunters were talking about how cold and windy it was outside, he said.
Rock Creek General Store located at the north entrance of Itasca State Park registered 250 licenses over the weekend.
Menahga's Shell Sport and Bait's registration figures were lower this year, but still totaled 631 as of Monday morning. The shop registered a total of 546 hunters over the weekend.
For more hunting photos, see the "Hunting 2008" photo gallery. If you'd like to submit your photo, please provide the names of people in the photo, where and when the deer was shot and any other pertinent information.