Getting a first deer was among the stories heard at a couple of Princeton-area deer registration stations during the Nov. 9 opening of the firearms deer season here.
Sometimes it was more of just an exchange of humor between the hunter and the proprietor at the check-in place. When Jeff Nobbe, of Anoka, walked into Backwoods Sports along Highway 95 east of Princeton Saturday morning, there was some laughing when Tom Murray and Nobbe joked with each other.
Nobbe’s story of getting a four-point buck was standard fare, though. He had gotten to his deer stand located on Murray’s land in the Spectacle Lake and Green Lake area at 6:30 a.m. He sat there for about 3 1/2 hours without seeing any deer, so he decided to go over to the deer stand his hunting partner, Bob Bergstrom, of Bloomington, was seated on in the same general area. As Nobbe was preparing to leave his stand, the four-point buck walked below his stand. When the deer was far enough away, Nobbe took the buck with a .20 gauge shotgun.
Nobbe had been hunting in the area for 14 years.
Alex Karo, 15, of Brooklyn Park, walked into Backwoods Sports not long after with his stepfather, Jason, and his mother, Tali. All three were in a good mood,
especially Alex, who had shot the first deer in his life. He had been sitting on a deer stand for about two hours that morning when he saw a big doe and two younger bucks walking across the field. The deer disappeared into woods for about 15 minutes, and then returned to an opening about 50-60 yards away and Alex shot it.
“Then we high-fived, and I cried,” Tali said. “He’s been trying a long time. … He’s Mr. Outdoorsman. We love it (deer meat) in the Crock-Pot.”
Jason said that the family planned to eat the deer’s heart and backstraps that evening.
Next into Backwoods Sports was Kevin Woitas, of Lexington, and hunting partner Troy Mendoza. Woitas said he had taken a fawn buck at 8:30 a.m. that morning. There was only one shot possible and that was when the deer walked into an opening about three steps wide, Woitas said.
Over at the Hofman Oil and BP gas station in Princeton, employees said a young man had come in who had shot his first deer. He returned after having dropped the deer off at a meat-processor in Foley. The man was Erik Crooks, 23, of
Minneapolis, and the deer he took was a seven-point buck. Crooks said he had been in his stand for about two hours about 10 miles south of Princeton with his Uncle Tom, who owned the land, and a family friend.
This was Crooks’ sixth season of deer hunting and on this morning he saw a deer come into view and then stop behind a tree. Crooks remembered cursing to himself wishing the deer would turn around and come back into full view in an opening about a yard wide about 30 yards from the deer stand. After five minutes the deer did just that, and Crooks took his shot with his 12 gauge shotgun.
“My adrenaline was going and my heart was pounding,” he said. “It was exhilarating.”
Crooks added that he has only seen a handful of deer in his life.