The weekend of Nov. 9 marked the official start of firearm deer hunting season in Minnesota. Roads were busy all around Mille Lacs Lake with bustle of hunters, and groups of cars gathered around side roads have been a common sight.

How have hunters fared this first week?

Dannille Schik, at Boone’s Fine Guns in Isle, stated that the store had only seen one buck, an 8 pointer, come in for their big buck contest. Schik added that she otherwise hadn’t had the volume come in to have a clear picture of how hunting had gone locally this weekend.

Beth Luhman, clerk at the Westerlund Cenex store in Malmo, reported that everyone was saying the weekend had been “hit-or-miss.” Luhman added. “We’ve got some saying there’s a large abundance of bucks, coming in and filling their tags. Others have sat out there two days and seen nothing.” As a game registration site, Westerlund Cenex saw eight deer come through on Saturday, Nov. 9, and five come through on Sunday, Nov. 10. As of the afternoon on Monday, Nov. 11, Luhman said one buck had come in that morning, but otherwise, hunters were not seeing much else move.

Luhman added, “There’s been a lot of hunters out, and everyone seems to be in good spirits.”

While fortunes seemed to be mixed, there are some reports of success. The patient may be rewarded.

Best of luck, and stay safe.

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