Succeeding young: Keelan Johnson, 14, of Waconia, bagged this eight-point buck — the first deer of his life — on land near Park Rapids, Minn., from a distance of 75 yards.

First deer always special: Meta Schutte of Pine Island, Minn., shot her first deer during the youth hunt near Spring Grove, Minn. This was her first year of hunting. She gave a fist pump and a resounding “YES!” when she saw the buck go down.

Patience rewarded: Randy Wedrickas of Red Wing waited more than 40 years to shoot a monster buck. He sits each year in the same deer stand located on his in-laws’ family farm near Welch, Minn. On the first afternoon of the firearms deer season this year, his wish came true. This 14-point nontypical trophy buck — weighing in at 230 pounds — wandered in close and Randy shot him from 40 yards away.

A deer before birthday: Carter Dicke, a fifth-grader at Goodhue Elementary School, was hunting with his mom from a ground blind on her parent’s land in Goodhue County when shot his first deer ever. It happened on opening day of this year’s firearms season, two days before his 11th birthday.