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dukhnt

How was your opener?

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dukhnt

I was hunting near spicer. Lots of shooting going on. I managed to scare a couple of coyotes and my dad got a spike buck. Hopefully my luck turns tonight!!!

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walleyeking19

i saw three does, none of them were big enough to shoot. there weren't a lot of shots around Buffalo though.

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icecold

Got a 8 point at 11 am this morning, been deer hunting for 28 years and today was the first time I have to say i felt kind of bad for the deer, didnt drop it with first shot, and had to chase after it to finish it off, felt kinda bad,maybe its because Im getting older or something, but at least I found him and will be able to enjoy some venison crazy.gif

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Shack

Well, I got out early for once.

Arrived in stand and waiting, about 20 minutes before shooting time! I used new portable I put up in swap area yesterday, to start day off. After going a couple hours of hearing pheasants running around and squirrels, I was caught off guard by a long sold sheep ba. It did not go like Ba, Ba, but like Buwaaaah! This sounded just like the grunt caller you flip upside down and back, I had heard one last night at Hardware Store. I got ready and sure enough it was a deer. It started into woods rear of me and to my back right. I am right handed and even after twisting in stand, all I could do was watch deer go further up in woods. It was around 8:00 am and sun was just breaking over the woods to the east and I could see the gleam on the deer’s fur coat. By the grunt and the way it was walking, I think it was a buck. It might have been a four or six point. First buck (with question marks) I have seen on this property in over 5 years. Pepped me up good.

Got out of stand at noon and went up into woods to have my lunch and try another stand. I had lunch on a large log and then I went and sat in a stand with a 60 deg view of woods and 60 plus degree view of corn field that was taken down yesterday. Gave it until 2:00pm and headed back over to porty in swap. I would say around 3:30pm, I saw a little doe come into woods rear of me in the same place as the other deer in the morning. As I clicked safety off, wind shifted and doe spooked further into woods. I moved porty to another tree facing woods before I left and hoping for some action in this area on Sunday.

Saw two ring neck pheasants, about 20 turkeys and two deer. Plus wood peckers are out in full force. Almost had a small chickadee land on my gun barrel.

Can not wait for Sunday!

I took camera out with me in stand, I got some images.

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Here is the corner of woods I saw deer! I could not even get a good picture.

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This guy hunted with me nost of the day and had the same luck!

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I figure this will make the people who could not get out and hunt for some reason feel a little hunting!

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Steve Foss

So yesterday (Friday) about noon I got to the hunting spot along the Echo Trail 30 miles from Ely I've been coveting all season (well, actually the last three years), and no one was there. So I pulled in and parked and took the camera into the woods to scout for awhile. I'd planned to camp there overnight and hit it this morning.

When I came back out, there were guys standing around my vehicle. They had pulled in with their big pickup and pop-up camper.

A retirement-aged grandpa, a dad and a teen-aged boy.

"Oh crap," I said to myself. "Here we go."

The grandpa explained that they'd been camping and hunting on this spot for 15 years on opener. He said that the boy was just getting into hunting. I didn't say anything, but looked at each one of them. The grandpa acknowledged it was public land open to all and it was first-come, first-served.

I looked at them for a few more seconds. I remembered how it was when I was a boy just getting into hunting. I remembered the excitement of all the preparations. Listening to dad and grandpa talk about big bucks of years gone by, all shot from this camp. The anticipation, the slightly sick feeling in the stomach that comes along with a boy when he goes to deer camp, the nervousness that he won't measure up. The joy of shooting that deer and being one of the men.

"Yes," I said. "Go ahead, I'll find somewhere else to hunt."

The relief was clear in their eyes. We talked awhile longer. Introduced ourselves and talked about the land they'd been hunting, land I'd come to know intimately in the last four years. They remarked about my camera and I explained who I was and what I did. They were interested the black wolf I shot on the cover of last week's Outdoor News, and we exchanged wolf encounter stories. They wanted my business cards, so I handed them a couple.

We parted on excellent terms, and I imagined that, as they were setting up camp after I left or later around the campfire or in their bunks, the men would point out to the boy what a generous gesture it had been for me to give up a spot I'd had every right to claim.

"Be that kind of man when you grow up," I imagined the grandpa would say to the teen.

I drove away knowing I'd done the right thing but not feeling very good about it.

As I headed back toward Ely along the Echo to park at one of my three backup spots and camp overnight, one after the other of them had pickups already parked there. I started feeling worse.

Even my backup backup spots already had hunters on them. In this, my fourth season hunting deer up the Echo, there had never been this large number of hunters coming in on Friday afternoon to claim spots. Usually, a guy can get up at 3 a.m. in Ely on Saturday morning and careen up the Echo and find one of his best five or six spots still open.

Not this year. I headed back to town, passing at least another 15 pickups with hunters headed up the Echo behind me. I wondered where I would hunt, and regretted not taking a couple guys up on their offer of showing me some good public hunting land near Bemidji, where my family has a lake cabin.

So, I thought, I'd roll out of bed at 3 a.m. and careen up the Echo. I guess I have a small advantage in that there are a few spots that don't look good from the road but are actually OK. I figured maybe one of them wouldn't have a pickup parked there. Or, I figured, like last year, maybe I'd spend most of opening day driving around vainly searching for an open place to hunt.

I understand that people from all over Minnesota, and indeed the whole Midwest and United States, search out wilderness experiences and are attracted to Ely for opening weekend so they can have their small, once-yearly slice of the wilderness hunting experience. I understand public land means public. I understand they have as much right to come in and appreciate that land as I do. I just didn't feel very good about it.

And so I made it up there by 5 a.m. today. There was only one opening in a sub-par spot about half a mile from the place I gave up to the family. I didn't see a deer all day. To make matters worse, I heard five shots from those guys over in the area I handed over.

Sigh.

All I can hope is I'm paying my account up full with the deer hunting gods. frown.gif

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Shack

stfcatfish,

You have another 2 weekends yet! cool.gif

Good of you to give the Grandpa and his Grandson the spot to hunt!

It's what I would of done! smile.gif

You will get your deer! The deer gods hear about things like this!

Anyone else's body sore? crazy.gif

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Wormdrowner

Steve,

You are a "true" Gentleman, if there were more people with your ethics I'd probably still be a deer hunter.

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Eric Wettschreck

Atta boy Steve. Class act all the way.

My opener was good, with the exception of the time I got the buck fever and froze. Our group of 7 shot 4 nice sized deer. 2 does and 2 bucks. Mr. Big (A real nice widely spread 8 pointer) walked out of a big thicket about 50 yards from me and was coming my way. He stopped about 30 yards away and, seriously, I froze. Then he saw me and took of running and it was all over.

It was a good day. I see us filling our remaining 3 tags fairly early tomorrow.

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wolfman-k

Steve, karma will even out your good deed! Did you happen to inquire if they were maybe only hunting that area for a few days & not the whole season? I know it's not the same after opener, but it may be worth a second look. Myself, I will be waiting somewhat patiently until next week-end to spend a week in the woods. It will be a different hunt this year as my younger brother is flying in from California to hunt with my life-long friend and I. It's his first time deer hunting, so I hope to help him enjoy the outdoors as much as I do. Good luck to you and thanks for all the great pictures you share here. grin.gif

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Steve Foss

Thanks guys. Wolfman, they leave on Monday at 10 a.m. I'll be in there by Thursday to give it a couple days to settle down, and will hunt it off and on the rest of the season. The rut isn't really going yet here. Figure that'll kick things into high gear in about another week.

Glad to see some of you guys got some deer there! grin.gif

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tunrevir

SC great job, I commend you on your decision albeit a tough one but that is what sportsmanship is all about. My opener was fairly uneventful. I saw a 3 point, two grey fox, a pheasant and a half dozen turkeys. The woodpeckers were out in force with a large pilliated going at it right next to my stand for an hour. Beuatiful morning to be on stand. I ended up going down to the St. Croix last night and enjoyed some fabulous fishing with my 7 year old daughter. She managed to jig a few fish up all by herself! We had a great time! Sounds like th weather is gonna take a turn for the worst the next few days, should get those deer moving!

Tunrevir~

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DTro

That was classy Steve, but one question, why couldn't you have still been able to hunt with them there?

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mille lacs muskie bum

got a fork and my brother got a 3 pointer. we saw another fork today but had to pass. we didnt see a single doe which i thought was kinda strange.

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MNBIGBEAR

Opener started off good as far as seeing deer. I had eight does and fawns come through my cutting by 10 am along with a small forker and saw another 5 does and fawns in the evening.....no bucks following them though. Plenty of buck sign in the area but im thinkin with this nice weather we have had that most of the buck activity is at night. We will see if this storm blowing in will change anything smile.gif

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Steve Foss

Quote:

That was classy Steve, but one question, why couldn't you have still been able to hunt with them there?


They didn't invite me. And I don't hunt with strangers, anyway. Too easy to get in the middle of situations you don't like with people you don't know. Heck, for that matter it's easier to find a good wife than a good hunting partner. grin.gif

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vermilionwally

Well i was hunting south of Cook for my third year deer hunting. I had a golden opportunity to get my first deer but choked and completely missed a spike buck. I was relieved that i had completely missed rather than had a gut shot though, me and 1 other guy looked around the whole area for 20 minutes and didnt see any sign of a hit and he kinda just walked away which made us figure that it was a clean miss. I saw a 4 pointer this morning too but passed on the shot. For the weekend ended up seeing 2 deer and 4 grouse.

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Eric Wettschreck

To re-cap my opening day report.........Today I got him!!! laugh.gif

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harvey lee

Congrats Eric. Probably a big ol southern Minnesota corn fed buck A.

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Eric Wettschreck

Thanks Tom. Not huge but a real nice Southern MN corn fed buck. He'll make a lot of burger!!!!

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Steve Foss

Mmmmm, nummy burger! Good job, Boilerguy. grin.gif

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Shack

boilerguy,

Great deer!

I have one just like him running around my stand area. I can hear him grunting in the morning. Got a better look at him yesterday, but this wind was not in my favor.

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Wanderer

Steve,

You are a better man than I. I understand your reluctance to hunt with strangers though.

I would have worked out a deal with them, letting them know where I planned to sit and get a fix on their intentions. I'm too used to sharing woods with strangers.

Like the guy who took the 150 class 10 pointer that probably left that shed antler I was pumped about! frown.gif

Sunday morning (early!), I heard two or three coming but stalled out across the little swamp I was by. A bit later, no more than 300 yards down the ridge the deer were following, came a single BOOM! Crap, I thought, thats about the lag time a buck would have behind some does.

A few minutes later the lead doe is standing 20 yrds away looking at me point my rifle at her. I really wanted a deer, and fearing what just happened, I pulled the trigger.

While I was dressing her out, I could her the jubilant crowd that gathered to haul out the other deer.

I told my friend about how things unfolded so he drove to the neighbors to check it out in the afternoon. Dude was sitting with his feet up sipping a cognac admiring his brute. He was generous enough to offer us his stand for the rest of the season though.... smirk.gif

Good luck for the rest of the season everybody! grin.gif

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Steve Foss

Wanderer, sorry you missed out on Mr. Big, but great that you got some meat! grin.gif

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USPENAMC

we got there late made alot of noise going in placed the first portable 2 man stand where my brother sat..then put up the second where my father sat withing yelling and visual distance of my brother.. then i walked to a stand that i have hunted some time. Its permanent and dont know who made it. On my way there i hear movement and breaking of small bush.trees, and such. I hear a shot my dad got a shot at the oldest biggest doe we have seeen. was about 180 pounds FIELD DRESSED.

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Steve Foss

Quote:

the oldest biggest doe we have seeen. was about 180 pounds FIELD DRESSED.


Sausage! grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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