The one that got away. This phrase is usually associated with fishing but it proves fitting for a deer hunting story that will be told by Sibley East senior Brett Pioske for years to come.
Pioske was hunting near Rush River when he downed and 8-point buck early Saturday morning. He waited five minutes before approaching the deer which appeared to be dead, his mother Carrie Pioske explained.
While kneeling down near the deer and retrieving a knife from his backpack, the buck stood up and bounded away.
Pioske quickly phoned his brother and father who eventually helped track the deer. The Pioskes trailed the deer for a few hours finding some fur and pools of blood. But, they could not catch up to the whitetail which led the hunters through a cornfield before eventually getting away.
A dandy deer that didn’t get away was shot by 12-year-old Austin Frauendienst of rural Gaylord. He dropped an 8-point buck early Saturday morning in a woods northeast of Gaylord. It was one of two deer bagged by the young Frauendienst on Saturday. He is the son of Darrel and Rachael Frauendienst.
While reports of big bucks being shot were few and far between, many hunters said they saw plenty of does during the opening weekend of the firearms season.
The Walsh party, which included eight hunters, shot two deer in the Henderson hills. Bill Walsh highlighted the party’s hunt by bagging a six-point buck. The group reported seeing several deer but had only one doe permit to fill.
Does were also reportedly on the run in wooded areas surrounding Altnow’s Lake which is located northeast of Gaylord. Dick Hebeisen of Gaylord said he had the pleasure of watching does pass directly underneath his stand.
The Goetsch party also reported seeing several deer near Altnow’s over the weekend. One of those deer was a small buck bagged by Kyle Goetsch.
It was another successful season for hunters afield south of Gaylord. Several deer were reportedly shot in the large woods near Norwegian Grove. Included in the bag was a dandy eight-point buck.
Hunters traveling outside Sibley County for their hunt had mixed reports.
A party of seven hunters shot two deer near Mille Lacs. Greg Swenson, a member of that hunting group, downed a nine-point buck.
Big bucks continue to replenish in southeastern Minnesota. Jerry Berg of Gaylord reported that his hunting party bagged a 12-point, two 8-points and a 7-point buck near Spring Grove. That area has produced several trophy bucks for the Bergs in recent seasons.
Big game registration stations in the area indicated the deer harvest for the opening weekend once again declined.
True Value in Henderson reported that 81 deer had been registered as of Tuesday noon. According to La Donna Bender of True Value, the store has registered 56 bucks and 25 does so far this season. That is approximately 40 deer less than last year, and nearly half the whitetails registered in 2005.
Reports from big game registration stations in Gaylord and Arlington were unavailable when this edition of The Gaylord Hub went to press.