Northwoods Adventure: 2019 Deer Opener
It’s that time of year when many Minnesotans wake up before the crack of dawn, wear blazing orange and go into the woods and wait patiently in their deer stands.
“I took my son here Corbin out, and about 10 o’clock we had a buck come out and Corbin was there laying in the bottom of the stand taking a nap. I shot and he didn’t even wake up when I shot, I woke up him up and told him we got one and went and tracked it and we got it,” Donnie Manz said.
Donnie Manz shot a seven point buck, but other hunters weren’t as lucky. This year, the first harvest was down a bit from last year. Bemidji Wildlife Area Manager David Rave says he thinks the deer population is up..but because of the cold weather and the wind, he doesn’t think a lot of the deer moved.
“The cold weather if it’s cold and calm, like it was this morning, the deer will move a little bit. But when it’s cold and windy then they don’t move as much. The thing that helped us out this weekend was that the deer were in the rut and so the males – the bucks – were chasing the does, and so that moved the deer a little bit. But when the does are betted down and their not willing to move, that doesn’t help out harvest much,” said Rave.
After hunting, many hunters will bring in their deer for processing. Stittsworth Meats Owner Mychal Stittsworth says because of the cooler weather, people have more time to let their deer hang in the woods as opposed to warmer temperatures. He also says that people should field dress their deer before bringing them in.
“We’re doing processing, so we take people’s deer. We tag their deer and we cut it up to their specifications and box it up and call them up to come and get it. Everybody’s guaranteed to get their own deer back because of the numbering system that we use,” Stittsworth said.
Down at Lake George at Trinity Lutheran Church, a tradition that’s been around for the past 50 years is still going on strong. Every year during deer opener, the church puts on their Hunter’s Supper.
“Family is going to be in town for the local people for people who are and aren’t members of our congregation. So they come in and they’ve been out hunting all day and then it kind of spreads around a little bit, too, when the whole area…you know, people are tired. They’ve been outdoors, they want to come in and have a nice meal,” said Marcia Wittenburg, Trinity Lake Lutheran Church Women’s Lutheran Missionary President.
The supper is put on by volunteers and funds go towards supporting the church and mission work.