It's often regarded as a holiday here in the Upper Peninsula, and Saturday, thousands of eager hunters hit the woods for the opening day of firearm season, hoping to find that trophy buck and the bragging rights that go with it. It started out slow Saturday morning at the Delta County DNR checkpoint, but right around noon, hunters started rolling in with their prizes.
DNR officials didn't expect to see many deer on opening day since traditionally most hunters stay out at their camps, but there were some pleasant surprises. For hunters, the weather couldn't have been more perfect.
"This morning was a really nice morning," said John Lundberg as he was checking his buck in. "There was not a lot of wind, little bit of snow on the ground, so it was nice."
Lundberg travels to the U.P. from Springfield, Ohio every year with his family to take to the woods, but now that he got his deer, he's done.
"When I go home, I'll probably go out and do some hunting, but here in the U.P., I've given my homage to the state of Michigan," he said.
And it wasn't just the old pros that were getting lucky--first-time hunter, Bobby Stasewich, nabbed himself an impressive seven-pointer with one clean shot.
"We saw a big buck in the woods and my dad told me to shoot it, but then he said no, but then I just got ready and I shot it," explained Stasewich on how he succeeded where others have failed.
DNR biologists expect the buck harvest to be down about 10 to 15 percent this season due to last year's harsh winter, but said that there's still plenty of deer out there to give hunters a challenge.
Anyone that didn't get their deer on opening day doesn't need to worry--firearm season lasts until November 30, so there's still plenty of time to bag that buck.