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Deer Opener a Tradition for Minnesota Men and Women

Posted at: 11/02/2012 4:54 PM
Updated at: 11/15/2012 12:02 PM
By: Travis Dill

The Minnesota deer opener starts on Saturday and hunters are hustling to get the last supplies they need before heading into the woods. Stores like the Gander Mountain in Hermantown are busy because of the unofficial holiday.

“Today is like the day before Christmas for deer hunters,” Manager Bob Hanson said.

The store is so busy they dedicated three checkouts to license sales. Hanson said he's used to the rush, but when it's over he goes hunting just to relax.

“Why do I enjoy it? It's the time away from the hustle and bustle. It's winding down, it's sitting out there in the woods and just melting away into the woods,” Hanson said.

Deer hunting is often considered a male activity, but it's a girls' weekend for Heather Heffner and her family.

“And hunting with other women too is really important to me. That it's not just for men it's for women too,” Heffner said.

And she encouraged other women to get out into the woods. 

“Go for it. Try it out. Even go sit out in the woods, bring a camera even if you don't want to hunt,” Heffner said.

She said hunting brings her family together.

“After we're done hunting we'll usually hang out at the cabin. Tell stories or play cards. That's one of my favorite parts is just the family aspect,” Heffner said.

Hunting is a tradition for many hunters, and Mick Maslowski is getting the girls in his family out there too.

“My Granddaughters went on their first North Dakota goose and duck hunt just a few weeks ago. So we're passing on the tradition,” Maslowski said.

That means more hunters heading into the woods, and that's sure to make the lines even longer the day before the opener.

Minnesota hunters get to start this weekend, but those preparing for the firearm hunt in Wisconsin will have to wait until Nov. 17.