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Deer opener wet but worthwhile Many hunters find success, conservation officers find some bait pile offenses

November 16, 2017 GMT

The rifle deer season opened Wednesday with hunters greeted by rainy conditions and temperatures in the low 40s, which was about 25 degrees colder than opening day 2016.

J.W. McCormick had a successful opening day, taking a nice buck on his property in Fountain.

“I am fortunate that I have a nice blind to sit in,” McCormick said. “I saw a nice 8-point buck that I passed on during bow season at first light. I passed him again Wednesday morning. It wasn’t two minutes later my buck came by chasing a doe,” he said.

After harvesting the buck, McCormick said he sat for another hour and watched several smaller bucks and some does pass by his blind.

Rain that turned to a heavy downpour made recovering the deer difficult.

Jen Tooman also had success on opening morning, taking a 7-point buck in Free Soil.

“The rain definitely didn’t stop the deer from moving,” Tooman said. “There were a few deer in front of me all morning. There was plenty of movement all morning.

“The 7-point buck I shot came in hot chasing a doe. He was moving, so I had to make a split- second decision to harvest him,” Tooman said.

Sarah Cole took a 9-point buck — her biggest in 23 years of hunting — in Hamlin Township on Wednesday morning. Cole said she texted her husband, Matt, who was hunting in Lake County, saying “I got a monster.”