It was a successful hunt for a handful of area deer hunters who reported shooting large bucks during the opening weekend of the firearms season.
Gaylord native Randy Lang headlined the list of hunters bagging big deer. He shot a 12-point buck early Saturday morning while hunting between Hutchinson and Litchfield.
Lang’s deer field dressed at nearly 200-pounds and featured long down tines (see a picture). Lang’s hunting party bagged two other deer. Rob Armstrong, also a Gaylord native, shot a small buck while Tyler Lang tagged a doe.
A hunt near Mille Lacs proved successful for a group of Gaylord hunters who shot three bucks and a doe. Among the deer was a 12-point buck taken by Erin Swenson. Darren Reid added a non-typical buck to the bag while Don Swenson shot a doe.
Sibley County Sheriff Bruce Ponath also downed a 12-point buck. He was hunting with family members in northwest Minnesota. Ponath’s group also bagged 10- and 8-point bucks.
Big bucks were also abundant in the other corner of the state as a group of area hunters reported shooting two 11-pointers and two 8-pointers near Spring Grove. Jerry Berg of Gaylord shot one of the 11-point bucks while his son Jordan dropped an 8-pointer Sunday evening.
Another group of area hunters afield in southeast Minnesota enjoyed a successful hunt. According to Jason Bates, the party of nine hunters tagged seven deer. Quentin Biermann, son of Sibley East teacher Brian Biermann, had the trophy of the bunch. He shot a 9-point buck which field dressed at 185-points. Bates meanwhile bagged an 8-point buck.
The top report from those hunting in the Gaylord area again came from a woods south of town. A party of 16 hunters reportedly shot 10 deer. The five bucks and five does were all taken before noon on Saturday. An eight-point buck was the biggest deer of the bunch.
It was an exciting start to the deer hunting careers of Joe and John Max. Both hunters shot their first deer this past weekend near Benson. They are the sons of Gaylord native Kevin Max.
According to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the statewide kill is up nearly 4.5% from a year ago. Last year was the third highest harvest on record.
Area big game registrations are reporting slightly smaller numbers than previous years. Neisen’s Bar in Gaylord had registered 43 deer as of Tuesday noon. That is seven less than last year.
Bender’s True Value in Henderson reported Tuesday morning that it had registered 114 deer. The last two seasons, the store registered approximately 150 deer for the first weekend.
The Cenex Convenience store in Arlington had 50 deer registered as of noon Tuesday. That is similar to the 2005 season.
Below is a list of hunters who reportedly bagged deer during the opening weekend. This list usually includes hunters who registered deer at Neisen’s Bar. But, those registration tags were retrieved by the DNR before The Hub could record any names.
Ross Vinkemeier, Dale Vinkemeier, Ken Truebenbach, Chuck Peik, Steve Peik, Larry Wisch, McKoy Rodning, Brad Walsh, Matt Magers, Todd Zimmerman, Scott Zaske, Larry Seaver, Todd Iverson, Joe Max, John Max, James Herd, Jason Bates, Erin Swenson, Darren Reid, Don Swenson, Rob Armstrong and Quentin Biermann.