Deer hunting was a hit in southeastern Minnesota

By Bill Bartusek

You would think ice fishing might be the lead story this time of year. Not so! Actually anglers are doing pretty well on area lakes, fishing from boats and from shore. The warm weather has kept lakes open as far north as Lake Mille Lacs as well as other large northern lakes. Shore anglers are doing very well as fish stay near shore in the cold weather. Ice fishing in our area is still a ways off.

However, in the northern half of the state, things are much different. Lakes there have been frozen over for about a week. Some already have two to four inches of ice on them.

The major part of the statewide deer season is over. The muzzle loader season just opened last weekend and bow hunters can still hunt too.

My own deer hunt went well. My son Joe picked me up Friday, Nov. 17, for our trip to Rushford, which is located in southeastern Minnesota. It was warm and the snow we got earlier was all but gone. We got there early to move deer stands around and so Joe could bow hunt that evening.

Joe put me on a great stand in a good area to watch deer on Friday night. I was pretty excited as I watched three bucks and several does within gun range. That always happens before the season opens. Saturday morning was perfect, but we both never saw a deer. Saturday night and Sunday were the same. I did see one too far to shoot, and Joe saw several small deer.

Just like last year, Joe had to return to New Prague for work on Monday. I went back and continued my hunt. On Sunday night, I switched to a different farm and saw a nice doe. It was a long shot, and I missed her clearly. On Monday morning, I picked a new spot, just sitting on a stump. At 6:40 a.m., two does entered the woods, and one gave me a broadside shot at 80 yards. I froze her with a call and put a killing shot into her. Monday night was quiet, so Tuesday morning I returned to my spot. Shortly before 7 a.m., a deer walked into my shooting lane. I grunted at the deer, and it stopped broadside at 60 yards. My aim was true, and I harvested my second antler-less deer.

Another great ending to a great hunt. Thanks, Joe and Shane!

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