Page 3 of 3 Previous

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

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 51 3rd Qtr 10:00
LA Clippers 52
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
TX A&M-CC 70 FINAL
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78
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