Local Deer Hunting Season Opener a Family Tradition for Many

Posted at: 11/03/2012 9:46 PM
Updated at: 11/03/2012 11:18 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 News) -- An estimated five hundred thousand hunters will head into the woods this season in the search of that big buck. For many deer season opener is a long family tradition.

The hunt isn't just for sport, it also has a big impact on our community.

All loaded up Maynard Johnson was ready for another exciting deer season opener.

“'I’ve been hunting since I was in 9th grade, but when you see that buck coming through you get excited."

But this year was extra special for Johnson. For the first time he was able to help host Governor Mark Dayton.

"We've never had it in southern Minnesota, it's always north," said Johnson.

Erika Rivers who went on the morning hunt with Johnson says the hunt is about more than just sport.

"It helps control the deer herd, enough to enjoy the deer, but not so many that we're having more accidents and crop depredation."

With all of the blaze orange and other necessities deer hunting has a big impact on the Minnesota economy..

"Like a half a million dollars is spent each year in the state of Minnesota with deer hunting, so it's a huge industry," said Rivers.

"Every year I buy something new," said Johnson.

So far no one in Johnson's group has had a deer in their sights, but they're hoping to change that by the end of the weekend.

"Hopefully we'll get more deer than we got today."

Southeast Minnesota DNR hired a deer specialist last year to work on issues of crop damage caused by deer.