In pursuit of deer, by all means

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

Scott Lindell of Hutchinson bagged this 19-point buck on opening morning of Minnesota's 2010 firearms deer season Saturday. The rack still was covered in velvet, a freak of nature.

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.

  • 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

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
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