The Department of Natural Resources estimates that hunters harvested 226,260 deer over the nine-day hunt that concluded Sunday, compared with 221,534 in 2010. They took 102,837 bucks, up from 100,574 last year, and 123,423 antlerless deer, up from 199,261.
DNR officials stressed the 2011 estimates were preliminary. The numbers were based on calls to registration stations and the actual harvest could well be larger. Final results should be tallied by the end of February 2012.
DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp even got in on the big hunt. Stepp, who had never been deer hunting before, bagged a doe on the morning of opening day.
She said she was sitting in a blind looking left when the doe came in on her right. Contorting herself into what she described as a “circus -act like position,” she got the doe in her cross-hairs and killed the whitetail. Then a strange thing occurred. She was also bleeding. She had pressed her gun scope against her eye and the rifle blast had driven it into her, penetrating the skin near her eyeball. She then rightly had to deal with some rookie ribbing from her hunting partners and a quick lesson in what “Scope Eye” is and the need to obviously spend a little more time practicing with that firearm.