Opening Day

The biggest day of the hunting season for me is the Minnesota gun opener.  For the 2011 opener I hunted with my life long friend Roger Krist and his hunting party.  Roger owns a section of land just north of Little Falls.  The land has a perfect mix of terrain to produce big bucks.  Roger has taken countless monster bucks over the years and is a hunting legend in the area.

On this opening morning it was warm and there was no snow.  It was an easy 1/2 mile walk out to my stand which was located on the edge of a field.  There was a large swamp to my south, mature woods to my east, 80 yards to my west was a corn field with a pasture between it and my stand.  The best part about my stand is that I was only about 300 yards from Roger.  I knew if I was near Roger I would see deer.

I was not disappointed.  At first light I began seeing deer.  I passed on several doe and smaller bucks.  Roger had shown me several trail cam pictures of nice bucks that were on the property and I was hoping for a shot at one.  At 10am I heard a loud explosion coming from the corn field.  I looked to my west and saw two bucks chasing a doe.  They came out of the corn field on a full speed run.  I put my scope on the larger buck.  I only had seconds to decide to shoot or pass.  I shot and the 8 point buck dropped.

At 11am I got down from the stand and walked over to my deer.  It was a modest buck and I felt blessed to have had such a great morning.  Roger had not yet shot.  I thought this may be the first time in 25 years of hunting together that I might have gotten a bigger buck than him.  As I was dressing my buck, I heard Roger shot.  At noon I walked over to Roger’s stand.  He looked at me and said “I got a big sucker.”  The old timer had once again out did me with a monster 11 pointer.  I could not have been happier for him.  I felt so blessed to be hunting with such a great group of friends.

— Jim Nelson Jr.