(As told by dad, Kevin Zenner of Eagan)
My daughter, Kaitlyn, 15, and son, Jacob, 12, both shot deer on the opener near Finlayson, hunting along with three of their uncles and grandfather.
We got up at 4:30 a.m., drove to the hunting area and the three of us walked to Kaitlyn’s stand, where she settled in. Jacob and I then walked about 200 yards to our double stand. Hunting hard all morning, but getting no shots, Jacob and I got down from our stand at 11:30. As we did, we heard a shot from Kaitlyn’s direction. Moments later, when Jacob and I arrived near her stand, we found her with a huge 9-point buck.
That afternoon, about 2, Jacob and I were back in our stand when we spotted a doe walking quickly toward us at about 120 yards. The rail on our stand wasn’t high enough for Jacob to brace himself for a shot. So he took it freehand. The doe ran about 40 yards and fell. He did it!
Colin Sackett: The deer stand that wouldn't move
(As told by dad, Jeff Sackett)
A few weeks before the gun season opened, my son, Colin, and I tried to move his tree stand to a new location. We hunt in southeastern Minnesota on private land we own with extended family in the bluffs of Wabasha County. Colin arrowed his first buck when he was 14, and he’s a big proponent of antler point restrictions. Now he’s a freshman at Luther College in Iowa. The lock that secured the stand was broken, so his perch wasn’t moving. On the Friday before the gun opener, Colin climbed into the “locked’’ stand with his bow at 1:55 p.m. Ten minutes later he drew back on a 10-pointer that stood 24 yards away. When his shot passed through the deer, it ran a short way, looked back and fell over. I think he might keep his stand where it is!
Calista Flett's first deer hunt
(As told by Calista Flett, 15, of Maple Grove, who hunted with her dad, Ron Flett)
My dad and I were hunting on opening weekend on a friend’s farm near Vergas. I have an older brother who hunts, and he was hunting near Nashwauk. But dad and I were hunting on the same farm where I took a 23-pound tom turkey last spring. This was my first deer hunt.
We had been told the stand we chose wasn’t a particularly good morning stand. But we tried it anyway. At 8 a.m. we saw a 6-pointer go into a cornfield. He was there a half-hour or so before he stepped out. My dad made a noise — a bleat — and the buck stopped. I was using a single-shot .243. Dad didn’t tell me when to shoot. When the deer was 60 yards out, I aligned the buck in the scope and shot. We found him not far away. It was a great day!