- Northwoods hunters seemed to love the combination of warmer temperatures, light winds, and snow cover for Saturday's opener of the gun deer season.
In parts of the area, that led to day-one success for hunters.
This year, Northwoods counties are buck-only hunting counties.
Successful hunters brought those bucks to registration stations and told their stories.
Hunters liked what they saw in the woods and fields.
"It was great. Conditions were fantastic," said Jim Finucan as he registered his buck in Merrill. "It's nice and warm. You didn't have to freeze. The deer were moving. It was just a fantastic day out there."
Many hunters got their buck within the first few hours in the stand.
We heard from plenty of hunters who preferred to see snow on the ground this year.
DNR staff in Merrill found they were mostly registering two-and-a-half-year-olds.
"Most of the time you'll see a lot of year-and-a-half-old deer. But because of the harsh winter last year, a lot of those deer probably didn't make it through the winter because they were fawns last year," said Shelby Hiestand, a DNR Wildlife Biologist. That's probably one of the reasons we're seeing a lot of two-and-a-half-year-olds."
The nine-day gun deer hunt continues through next Sunday.