Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

Continued: In pursuit of deer, by all means

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 10, 2010 - 12:01 PM

From Baudette to Blue Earth, around 450,000 deer hunters, armed with high hopes and firearms, ventured into the woods for Minnesota's deer opener last weekend. Some bagged trophies. Most didn't. But all 450,000 will have tales to tell about the 2010 season. Here are four.

Paddling for whitetails

At dawn Saturday, a friend and I slipped a canoe into the St. Louis River in northeastern Minnesota, then drifted silently downstream, hoping to shoot a deer along the shore.

Steve Piragis of Ely handled a 30.06 in the bow while I paddled in the stern. We hoped the strategy would provide us access to Superior National Forest woods not normally visited by hunters, and perhaps surprise a whitetail. Drifting in a canoe would give us a stealth advantage, we hoped.

The alternative: A morning on our deer stands in an area with fresh rubs and scrapes. But the paddle would be an adventure. And just might work.

As the morning grew lighter, we glided alongside an ice-covered shoreline. Bald eagles soared, and we flushed a flock of 40 or so Canada geese. In 7 miles, we encountered three people -- hunters hunkered along one stretch of the river.

More troublesome were several boulder gardens and gentle rapids, some that we paddled and some that were so shallow we had to drag our canoe. Not exactly a stealth operation.

The only deer we saw came later, a nice buck that rocketed out of the woods, nearly hitting my truck as I drove down a dirt road from the boat landing. That afternoon and Sunday morning, we retreated to our stands, but saw no deer there, either.

Which means we likely will be among the two-thirds of Minnesota's firearms deer hunters who get to savor memories, not venison, this winter.

A long shot pays off

The odds of Glen Senske bagging the buck of a lifetime this fall definitely were stacked against him.

Senske, 42, of Princeton, broke his collarbone in four places in an ATV accident in June. After doctors put a plate with eight screws in, they told him he should forget hunting this season. The recoil from a 12 gauge shotgun slug might reinjure him, they said.

But determined not to miss the deer season, Senske rigged a .410 shotgun with a scope, sacrificing firepower for less recoil. Sunday, he went into the woods. "I sat on a deadfall. It was around 9:30 a.m., and I heard noise and saw a flicker of antlers.''

It was a monster 20-point buck. Senske fired when it was just 35 yards away.

"I shot once and missed, but with my second shot, he just dropped,'' Senske said. "It's the biggest deer I've ever shot. The [.410] did the job.'' He hasn't had the big whitetail officially scored yet.

"I've been hunting since I was 13, and I've never seen a deer this big. And then to get it with a .410 on public land. I'm still amazed.''

Monday, Senske was back at the doctor's office. He hurt a knee dragging the big deer out of the woods.

SCOTT LINDELL, HUTCHINSON

A trophy, in velvet

Scott Lindell of Hutchinson was hunting Saturday in Renville County when he shot what he thought was just a nice buck.

"I knew it was a sizable deer, but I had no idea what I was about to see when I got down out of my stand and went over to it,'' the 39-year-old hunter said. "I about fainted.''

The whitetail's 19-point rack still was covered in velvet -- a freak of nature. Whitetail antlers should have shed their velvet by now. Wildlife officials say the deer clearly had an adrenal gland abnormality. "I've looked at 10,000 deer and I've only seen three like that,'' DNR deer biologist Marrett Grund said. The deer field-dressed at 185 pounds. "It was the biggest thing I've ever seen in the woods,'' Lindell said.

DAN FABIAN, STILLWATER

Governor brings luck

There was a Big Shot in Dan Fabian's hunting camp this year.

We're not talking about Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who hunted the same farm near Little Falls for his Governor's Deer Opener and spun hunting tales with Fabian's group.

It was Fabian himself, who bagged the camp's biggest deer of the weekend -- and the biggest of his life -- a 10-point trophy. The 49-year-old Stillwater hunter was on his stand Saturday when he spotted movement around 9 a.m.

"I looked up and saw a deer working its way down the ridge,'' he said. "He stopped and looked right at me. It just looked like all antlers to me. I've never had a big buck come out like that.'' He figures the whitetail was about 50 yards away when he pulled the trigger of his 30.06.

The deer ran, but Fabian was confident he hit it. Rather than chase it off the property, he returned to camp to hear Pawlenty's hunting report. (The governor saw some does and a small buck, but didn't pull the trigger.) Then Fabian recovered his buck.

"It was one of the best years ever,'' he said. "Everyone had a good time talking with the governor. He told some good stories.''

Now Fabian has a tale to tell, too.

  • related content

  • About 90,000 deer killed on opening weekend

    Tuesday November 9, 2010

    “The opener was better than last year, but I’m not sure how much better,’’ Lou Cornicelli said. He still expects hunters will kill around 200,000 deer this season.

  • Scott Lindell:19-point buck.

  • Glen Senske: 20-point buck

  • Dan Fabian: 10-point buck.

  • St. Louis River

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 97 FINAL
Golden State 110
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
UNLV 79
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close