Deer opener: Tales and photos from the hunt

  • Updated: November 7, 2012 - 7:23 AM
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Kaitlyn Zenner with her first-ever deer, shot Sunday near Pillager.

KAITLYN ZENNER, 12, OF EAGAN (AS TOLD BY DAD, KEVIN ZENNER)

"Kaitlyn hunted this past weekend for the first time near Pillager, joining the family hunting group, which includes her dad, her grandfather, three uncles and a cousin. She saw several big deer on Saturday, but couldn't get a shot off until early Sunday morning, when she spotted this spike buck walking down the hill. She made an excellent shot, was very excited and already can't wait until next year.''

MITCH BERG, MENDOTA HEIGHTS

Mitch Berg was bow hunting in Wisconsin a week ago when he arrowed this dandy 8-point buck, which detoured onto a frozen lake,where it died and broke though the ice. With no waders nearby, and fearing the animal might sink from sight, Berg stripped to his shorts and waded in after his deer. MITCHELL BARRETT, 18, LINO LAKES "It was about 8:15 a.m. and I was archery hunting in Bunker Hills Regional Park, and saw white antlers moving toward me on top of the ridge. I started shaking. The buck was coming behind me. The buck got to 70 yards straight behind me and started making a way to me. I stood up, still shaking, trying to calm myself. It feels like the whole stand is going to make noise. As the buck moved behind a tree, I drew back my bow, waiting for him to get to a clearing. At 15 yards, I hit him broadside with my arrow. He was the first buck I have ever shot, and he was huge! ''

KAITLYN ALBERG, 11, SOUTH HAVEN, MINN.

Katie shot this 8-point whitetail in the South Haven area the morning of the deer opener, hunting with her dad Greg, and her .410 shotgun. "This is Katie's second buck in two years of hunting,'' said uncle Steve Alberg of Buffalo. "Who says the girls can't keep up with the boys?'' PATTY STANEK, BROOKLYN PARK "It was a quiet, calm morning near Bemidji, and I was just listening to the tundra swans flying overhead and watching a porcupine in a tree when I heard a snap. I looked and all I saw was this huge rack. My heart was pounding, my knees were shaking, and I got tired of holding my gun and I rested it on my deer stand railing. I lost sight of the deer, then I saw it heading away so I pulled up and shot. I got down off my stand and went over and saw it was an 11-point buck with a drop-down tine with green moss around the antlers, something I have never seen in all my 39 years of deer hunting.''

HOWARD HOLTZ, 87, LITCHFIELD

(As told by grandson Tony Holtz) "Our group headed out to the woods Saturday morning in a driving snow east of Forest City near the Crow River. Grandpa is always the most excited and usually has to be reminded to whisper when we get out of the pickup to load the guns and head to the deer stands. It was around 9 when he saw this 9-point buck wandering through the woods. He shot twice and got it. Grandpa called Grandma after we got the deer dressed and told her: 'Well, the old boy shot a deer this morning!' I will always remember him saying that.'' About a half-million Minnesotans continued a rich tradition this fall as they headed to camps, fancy and humble, in pursuit of deer. Here are some of their tales. Kaitlyn Zenner, 12, of Eagan (As told by dad, Kevin Zenner) "Kaitlyn hunted this past weekend for the first time near Pillager, joining the family hunting group, which includes her dad, her grandfather, three uncles and a cousin. She saw several big deer on Saturday, but couldn't get a shot off until early Sunday morning, when she spotted this spike buck walking down the hill. She made an excellent shot, was very excited and already can't wait until next year.'' Howard Holtz, 87, Litchfield (As told by grandson Tony Holtz) "Our group headed out to the woods Saturday morning in a driving snow east of Forest City near the Crow River. Grandpa is always the most excited and usually has to be reminded to whisper when we get out of the pickup to load the guns and head to the deer stands. It was around 9 when he saw this 9-point buck wandering through the woods. He shot twice and got it. Grandpa called Grandma after we got the deer dressed told her: 'Well, the old boy shot a deer this morning!' I will always remember him saying that.''
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  • Deer harvest expected to be down due to new restrictions

    Wednesday November 7, 2012

    Minnesota's half-million deer hunters have killed about 70,000 deer since the firearms season opened Saturday -- a 4 percent decline from last year, but about what wildlife officials expected.

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