Deer hunt was slow

By Bill Bartusek

With Thanksgiving behind us, December looms ahead. The gun deer season is over and the results are coming in. The harvest will be down quite a bit from last year. Three factors contributed to the lower deer kill: lots of corn in the fields, unseasonably warm weather and fewer anterless permits all had a negative impact on the hunt.

Steve Fisher and I headed for southeastern Minnesota for our deer hunt on November 20. It was warm, with daytime temperatures close to 60 degrees. We headed for our stands on a farm near Rushford in a thick, soupy fog. It was so bad some hunters actually ended up lost on the farm we hunted. We redirected them and walked to our stands.

I expected the fog to lift shortly after daylight, but it didn't. It stuck around until about 10 a.m. The woods were damp and quiet. You couldn't hear a squirrel scamper on the leaves. The fog was so thick I would not have seen any of the deer I harvested a year earlier.

Finally, shortly after 10 a.m., after the fog started to clear, I got a glimpse of two deer. They came out of the fog and vanished in a flash.

Those were the only deer I saw Saturday.

Sunday morning broke warm and clear. At 7:30 a.m. I saw a deer coming through the brush. When it entered an open spot, I grunted and the deer stopped. My aim was true and I had a nice doe. Another doe ran behind the one I shot and I clearly missed her.

That was it for my 2009 hunt.

Steve's luck was worse than mine. He never saw a deer all weekend. When we registered the deer, reports from the area mirrored our hunt. Hunters saw very few deer. The crops there were still in the fields and the weather was too warm for the deer to move. This despite complaints from farmers about the high deer numbers and increased crop damage.

The hunt was slow but enjoyable just the same. I wouldn't miss it for anything and will wait for next season.

Only about 360 days to go.

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